Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I went in to take it the atmosphere, and some music, at the Montreal Jazz Festival, downtown.
We saw these surreal gals on the street. Where's the Friendly Giant?
After eating a couple of Lafleur hotdogs, we sat on the steps of Place Des Arts and listened to a small Dixieland band play all the standards, like Sweet Georgia Brown. Then a youth band played on the large Rio Tinto Stage. All very good.
It was hot, but not JULY hot yet. And there was a breeze.
I people watched, looking out for interesting outfits.
I saw one wealthy-looking older woman, in beige Audrey Hepburn style culottes and a sleek black sweater, carrying a a turquoise cloth hand-bag I just loved. Cloth? Probably cashmere. The purse had bone handles. It was very simple and very chic and very, very expensive, I bet.
Everyone comes out for the Jazz Festival.
We walked the 2 kilometers back to Papineau and Rene Levesque, where we had parked the car, looking at the hodgpodge of architecture: old buildings, new buildings, ugly buildings, pretty buildings, gentrified buildings, derelict buildings.
This building at St. Laurent seemed interesting. I gauged it at around 1905. (I didn't see a date on the building, as is usual.)
I noticed La Patrie was embossed over the door. La Patrie, the tabloid that hated my Grandfather, Jules Crepeau. My grandfather lived two blocks up at Sherbrooke and St. Laurent.
My husband asked when the newspaper was founded.
"I don't know, " I said. "I know it was around in 1927, a tabloid with more photos than print. The paper covered the 1924 Coderre Commission into Police Impropriety word-for-word and included sketches of the men and women testifying."
They also had this pic of my grandfather from 1913. Grandpapa was involved in a scandal back then, his first, or maybe second, and certainly not his last. Read Milk and Water, my ebook about my grandfather, here.
"So they've been around at least since 1913, but this building looks around 1905."
Anyway, today I checked online and the building is from 1905. I'm getting good at this. 15 years of research into Montreal's history has made me quite savvy.
So, I now know where La Patrie was, and the Herald, (down by Atwater).. and I've always known since childhood where the Gazette was... St James Street, right?