The Montreal metro system is a bit funky–a lot of homeless folk, not quite enough air, and closed off escalators. I’d rate it as pleasanter than New York and perhaps slightly less pleasant than Boston. Still, it gets you where you are going efficiently. And it has something I haven’t seen since Seoul, Korea–acres and acres of underground shopping.
In Montreal, this has a quality of “going through the wall to another world.” Through a glass door and suddenly a vast arcade with public art of a forest of pink tree trunks and colorful glass panes casting rainbow shadows. Noodle shops. Coffee. Couches. Domes. Upscale malls on multi levels.
And miles of shopping. In 17 minutes I bought two items at chic skinny girl boutiques. I am not chic, skinny, or a girl, but the demi-gods of shopping were with me, as they often are.
I was raised in the garment business. My father and grandfather manufactured girls’ coats. My childhood rambles were through the fairy tale forests of coat racks. I can still remember a white coat with a dark red velvet collar my practical mother would not let me have. And these coats were FREE–usually samples.
The shirts I bought were cheap and gauzy–my grandfather would have balked at the shoddy hems. But one is floral and looks like French wallpaper and one is a mild animal print with silver stars and sequins (it looks better than you might imagine from this description.)
A shirt has magical powers. I don’t care exactly what it transforms me into–I just want to be transformed. These shirts are cute and I know I will get complimented. I’ll say, “thank you, I bought it in the subway.”