With the arrival of last week’s solstice, summer is finally in full swing, and no other season brings out the fine looking people this city is known for with such sweaty fervor. And while the movies have turned it into a well-worn cliche, there is still something to be said for the summer romance. Wintertime couplings tend to involve hibernation and bonding over favorite movies or TV shows, where as summer love has the potential for those unforgettable, sun-soaked adventures that can form the base of a strong union or help bored couples bust out of our their dull ruts. Here are my favorite summer date suggestions that won’t break the bank:
The Art Of Summer
Experiencing something new together is a great way to get to know someone. The permanent collection at the Musee Des Beaux-Arts (1380 Sherbrooke Street West) is free at all times. It features a unique array of Canadian and international art spanning many centuries that ranges from Egyptian and African sculptures to the massively chaotic canvasses of Jean-Paul Riopelle. The Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal (185 Sainte-Catherine West) is free on Wednesday evenings from 5-9pm. Their current exhibition, ZOO, might inspire you to unleash some of your inner animal magnetism, as it explores the role of animals and nature in today’s universe. Highlights include Trevor Gould’s installation in the Sculpture Garden and the Canadian premiere of the work “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads: Gold” by controversial Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei
If you’re trying to impress an art-lover with less mainstream tastes, try Under Pressure’s Fresh Paint Gallery (180 Sainte-Catherine East). Led by Sterling Downey, it focuses on the many facets of street art and its unconventional methods like spray paint, sculptures, serigraphy, and multimedia installations. Between August 2011 and August 2012, over a hundred local and international artists will display their work at this up-and-coming space.
Added bonus: Museums are air-conditioned!
Date of the Dead
Going for an afternoon walk up the mountain is about as cliche as the summer romance itself, so you can turn that tired idea on its head by exploring the other side of the mountain, starting with the expansive Mount-Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemeteries. The latter contains over 5,300 trees, about a hundred of which are from the natural forest that stood on the spot before the cemetery’s founding in 1854. Look for the 250-year old oak tree by the John Paul II mausoleum and the final resting places of Montreal legends such as Maurice Richard and Mordecai Richler.
Added bonus: if you go at night, your date might get spooked and run to you for comfort!
It’s Not What You’re Like, It’s What You Like
Even though July 1st is Montreal’s unofficial moving day, the city’s sidewalks and alleys are filled weekly all summer long with heaping piles of unwanted clothes, chipped set of unmatched dishes and furniture that just wouldn’t fit in the truck. Take your sweetie scavenging and you can have fun imaging the lives these discarded objects had before they were so casually tossed aside. If garbage picking isn’t quite your style, similar entertainment can be sought at garage sales or church bazaars.
Added bonus: the better the bargain, the more turned on I am!
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Last week, we received the shocking news of the abrupt end of the Montreal Mirror, a paper I’d read faithfully for the duration of my 10 years in Montreal. Often I would read it backwards by starting with Sasha’s informative and eloquent sex advice column where she helped out the lovers, the loveless and the lovelorn… who can now direct their most burning questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.