Montréal: Day 4.5

Sitting by the sculpture Les chuchoteuses (“Whispers”) by Rose-Aimée Belanger at the intersection of Rue Saint Paul and Rue Saint Dizier.

So the conference is over…and not a minute too soon. In fact, the last keynote lecture ended a full 30 minutes behind schedule. It seemed to be the theme of the whole conference that most people aren’t very keen on keeping track of time properly. Nevertheless, I’m glad that it’s all over now, and that I’m back safely in Toronto.

Kate Ruins
Picture taken at the remnants of the old Montreal General Hospital on Rue Saint Pierre.

Finally a bit of good news too: as the conference ended, the sky also cleared, which gave me a chance to change into some nice (i.e. more feminine!) clothes and roam around Vieux Montréal (that’s “Old Montreal” for those who do not speak French).  Vieux Montréal is, in my opinion, the most beautiful part of town, and I always enjoy walking along the quay.  I also had pictures of myself taken while I was there too.  Since I have never been to Montréal en femme before, I thought I’d keep it low key, and go around town with my purple sweater that I’ve worn so many times before.  I managed to get a few nice pictures taken, but in the afternoon, the temperature got up to a balmy 23°C, and after awhile, the sweater was too warm.  I made it back to my car at the hotel, and got a nice flower dress out of my suitcase instead.

Continue reading “Montréal: Day 4.5”

Montréal: Day 4

Yesterday all thoughts of being a girl had to be put aside. I had to give a presentation (obviously not giving the presentation as a girl) of my work. It went quite well, although my session was in the biggest room and the microphone I had to used made me nervous. I was also in discussion with some people from a few companies who are hiring. I spent the evening watching one hockey game (Montréal vs. Boston) with my colleagues, and then another game (Vancouver vs. Chicago) with another group of potential colleagues, and there was no time to be a girl.  By the way, Vancouver won, but Montréal lost.

Which brings me to this morning. I had planned to go out for a morning jog around town–I even had my tank top and sports bra and running pants ready, but as it turned out, it was still pouring rain all morning. So the plan was scrapped, and I still haven’t had the chance to walk outside. Fortunately, the weather forecast for the afternoon is much more favourable… Continue reading “Montréal: Day 4”

Montréal: Day 2

The elevator lobby of the 26th floor of the hotel.
From the 26th floor of L’hôtel Delta centre-ville in downtown Montreal. This blue dress is actually very very comfortable, and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites!
From the convention level of L’Hotel Delta centre-ville.

My second day in Montréal (the first full day really) is also the first day of the conference. I’m glad that I haven’t tried to attend the conference en femme, and to alter my name tag, because out of the more than 200 conference attendees, there were no more than 15 women. Everyone would have noticed if one more woman showed up, especially if “she looks a lot like that guy from that university, and how come they’re never seen them together? Oh.” So I dispensed with the whole notion of boy-mode trading place with Kate at the conference, and was happy with just stay being a boy until my free time in the evening. The talks at the conference on the first day had very little to do with my own research and interests, so it was rather boring being there.

Just before I left Toronto, I stopped by the post office to pick up a package: two dresses I bought from eBay. So amidst the heavy rain in Montreal in the evening–no chance to go outside, I tried on the dresses in the comfort of my hotel room. The dresses were of the party/prom/formal/bridesmaid variety by Alfred Sung, and they’re really beautiful. It’s also nice to know that I can wear them without alterations. I got some pictures taken, and also roamed around the hotel with them, taking more pictures. Again, when I have some time to edit the pictures, I’ll post them here. After spending some time editing them, here they are!

In Montréal

I’m in Montréal right now. Today is the first day of a conference that I am attending.  As I was getting ready for this trip, I realized that Katie has never been to Montréal before! Okay, so I have been to Montréal many times, just not as Katie. It’s time to take her there!

I had been stopped on Highway 401 for 15 minutes before I took this picture.

The original plan was for me to drive to Montréal mid-afternoon, and stopping occasionally to shop for clothes and shoes, and to take pictures along the route. Reality, on the other hand, deviated far from the plan. First, there was the rain…lots and lots of it too, which made stopping for pictures nearly impossible. Then there was the heavy traffic, first from Pickering to Oshawa, then through Brockville, which made shopping shops also impossible—I didn’t want to arrive in Montréal too late.

The water tower in Iroquois, Ontario, near the border with the province of Quebec.

I did (or at least my car did) finally managed to outrun the rain when I passed through the township of Iroquois, Ontario, at which point I was able to have my pictures taken. By the time I arrived at the hotel, it was very late already, and I went to Schwartz’s for their famed smoked meat sandwich and promptly went to bed.  All in all, it took me a very long 7 1/2 hours to drive to Montréal. (I’ve never had to spend more than 5 hours before…)

Beautiful sunset east of Iroquois, ON

Tomorrow I’ll see if I can sneak into one of the sessions as a smartly dressed woman attending the conference.  Daring, I know, and manipulating my credentials to say “Kaitlyn Young” isn’t even remotely difficult…but this is probably too weird even for me to do.  Today I will definitely try my best to go stroll around town, and if the weather stays dry, have pictures taken.  Of the pictures that I have taken along the way, I’ll post them after doing some minor edits. some of them are now posted with this post and on my Web Gallery and Flickr after some major digital editing…