Tuesday, October 22, 2013

40 à Montréal - le party

Yes, one of the main reasons we went to Montreal was to party.  I mean, it was my birthday, right?  And Montreal is indeed known for providing ample opportunity to celebrate so, even though I had originally thought we'd only go to Black & Blue, we ended up partying at least a bit every single night.  Yay!


First of all, Montreal, much like Toronto, enjoys a healthy and diverse (and tasty!) microbrew culture.  I love discovering the local brews of the places I go to, and made sure to go to at least one special brewpub, le Cheval Blanc, where not only did I enjoy a couple of good, dark, local concoctions of the hoppy variety, but where a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in some 5 years decided to pop by all the way from Hong Kong to surprise me for my birthday!  See? Are you going to tell me crazy things don't happen in Montreal?         

And you know what pairs well with Montreal beer?   Montrealers, who are one flirty, warm, sexy lot!  I simply can't remember the last time I was hit on in Toronto, but within 5 minutes of entering one of the gay bars on Ste. Catherine a tall, strong, handsome man who didn't seem either überintoxicated or mdmazed stopped in his tracks when he saw me, said "wow", and then "salut!".   Having forgotten what such frank attention felt like, my bewildered self did what any reasonable(y embarrassed) person would do: say "salut!" back, look away, flee.  The coming days nobody was as forward as that, but I did get smiles and people holding my gaze.  I was loving it.  And who could see any fault in enjoying being perceived as attractive by a couple of strangers, right?

NOTE:  People with hang-ups about sex workers may skip this paragraph starting HERE. OK, for the rest of you, you know what else is fun about Montreal?  Its (male) strippers are drop dead gorgeous!  At least the ones at Bar Stock, which is the only one we went to - it really has a reputation of having really good looking people on staff, so we had to take a look.   And it sure did live up to its reputation.  Super good looking.  No exaggeration.    

Anyhow, let's move on the the BIG party: Black & Blue.   So, a basic intro first.  Black & Blue is a circuit party.  Which means that there are parties EVERY NIGHT for a week or so, which turns the event into a "circuit" of parties.  And those circuit parties (along with "circuit party boys") get a pretty bad rap, and you can research on your own the salacious details as to why if you want.  AND all proceeds from Black & Blue go for a foundation assisting AIDS/HIV research and supporting gay and lesbian groups.   So, out of the countless events and parties and brunches and what not that were part of Black & Blue, we went to three:

PRISM Édition Montréal Black & Blue Pré-Party 

This first one was actually by accident.  We were just walking around, with my friend that was visiting from Hong Kong, and we passed by one of Montreal's famous clubs (Apollon).  Since the line-up was almost negligible and we were there and the place was famous, we went in and voilà!  we realize that was one of the Black & Blue parties!  It was fun, but we didn't stay long, I wanted to be at least partially rested for the main event next day!

BLACK & BLUE Main Event

What did the main event look like? Well, I can't really say, because the thing went on from 10pm Sunday night until NOON Monday, and we "only" stayed until 4am, so I missed a full 8 hours of the event!  But from what I did get to see:    tons of people (it's been averaging 8000 people the last few years, so it could have been the same this time), with an unusually high proportion of them being good-looking, amazing music, shows every hour or so, a silent art auction with many of the artists still working on their pieces right there, fancy attires, two separate stages each with their own DJ's and shows...  That is, one immense fun party.  Not bad at all for my first circuit party ever, hey?

Party de Clôture Officiel de BLACK & BLUE

The third and last event we went to was the official closing party.   By then, most people were probably completely burnt out, so it took place at a much smaller place with a much smaller crowd.  But I think I actually might have had even more fun at the closing event than at the main one!   This was at Cabaret Mado, and it was a drag queen show with Mado, one of Montreal's most famous drag queens (who also DJ's, by the way) as hostess.  There were some 5-6 performances by guest drag queens and, though the production value was not very high, the entertainment one was spot on!   By the end of the show we were all having one damn good laugh.  The perfect way to end my stay in Montreal! (that was our last night)

I had a blast, completely.   I hadn't had so much fun partying in a long time.   Merci Montréal!   

So, we had good food, good art, good architecture, good partying... there's just one thing left to talk about.... red leaves!

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