Sometimes I think I really take my neighbourhood for granted. Since it’s basically a ghetto, and drug-dealers live a few doors away, I tend to undervalue the quality of life here. But a little excursion beyond Park-Ex’s boundaries opened my eyes.
So earlier this week we had something like 35cm (14″) of snow dumped on the city in one day. It took days for the city to clear the snow from our street: I assume they work a system where they clear the major roads first, then whittle away at the smaller streets. So the snow stopped falling on Monday night, everybody’s car was packed under mini-mountains of snow and needed to be dug out. They cleared the other side of our street on Wednesday night, and then cleared our side on Thursday night. I have a theory that our street gets a little priority because a bus runs on it (the only good aspect of having a bus routed on our street…and I can get to the mall in two seconds). OK, so by the weekend most of the streets of Park-Ex were cleared and ready to go.
I also took the opportunity to teach Neptune about the incessant, two-tonal horn honking. She reacted: “What’s that?” And I answered: “That’s the sound that tells you to move your car because they need to plow the snow.” Now when she hears it she makes an urgent, sweeping of her arms and says: “Move your car! Move your car!” It’s pretty cute…just thought I’d share that.
Anyhow, yesterday, all liberated and licensed, I went on an errrand into Little Italy. I couldn’t believe what a mess is was. St. Laurent, a very main artery, still had huge snow banks on both sides of the street, narrowing the two lanes to almost one, and forcing cars to park back into their little, mini-mountainous nooks. Then I missed the store I was looking for and had to loop back down Casgrain: what a nightmare. There was so much snow it was as if it had just come down that day. What is going on with the snow non-removal in Rosemont/Le Petit-Patrie?
Also, has anyone ever noticed that there are absolutely no street-persons or panhandlers in Park-Ex…AT ALL? You’ll never be stopped at the corner of Acadie and Jean-Talon and have some grubby dude with an endearing cardboard sign that reads: “I need $ for beer,” coming at your car. Basically, our neighbourhood is better. OK…except for that really persistent beggar lady that accosted me in the alleyway last summer, and who still hits me up every now and again.
For those of you not familiar with Montreal’s snow situation: the city is responsbile for clearing the streets, sidewalks and – eventually – laneways of snow. It’s a fairly organised system of specialised trucks that work in tandem to collect the snow, haul it away, and use it (I assume) to build a massively giant snowman somewhere in LaSalle. Also of note are the chenillettes de trottoirs, or small snowplows, that barrel along our sidewalks at such incredible speeds, that if you don’t jump out of the way in time (and usually into a snowbank), you may die. Seriously.