Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sad News Montrealer Leonared Cohen Dead at 82

Leonard Cohen Dead at 82:

                    
                            

Montreal-born poet, songwriter and artist Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.
FB page  gave no other details but said a memorial would take place in Los Angeles at a later date.
“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”

MONTREAL — Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.6XyBBfQy.dpuf
MONTREAL — Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.6XyBBfQy.dpuf
 
MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
                          

MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
          

Remembrance Day ..............Lest We Forget

                                                           

Monday, November 7, 2016

Wearing the Poppy The Honour Behind the Flower -Ro Ghandhi

                               
                                                                                                                                                      Wearing the Poppy  The Honour Behind the Flower - SouthWest Corner - R. Ghandhi
Midnight in the European countryside, carrying all of their provisions, including their rifles and ammo, they waded through an ice-cold river, as they heard the sudden order to stop and stand still. Lines of men halted as the water quietly-rushed around them, knowing that any of their movements could give their position away. Standing there in the dark, wet and cold, they could not even afford to let out a shiver, as their hands shook while keeping their rifles above water. Even the crickets had stopped chirping on this moonless night, testing each mans endurance over hunger, sleep, and their basic human needs. The order, which could last a few minutes or a few hours, seemed to last an eternity. For each man knew that their life depended on the man in front of them, and that each of their actions would define the course of history.
It was a different time then. A time when the words life and death held more gravity to our everyday lives than they ever could today, and a time when all Canadians became brothers and sisters against one enemy. Trust amongst men was easier to find then, than in todays wired times. World War II had arrived at our borders and was threatening our way of life. We could only fall to the future dictators, or we could rise against them as one common force, as proud Canadians. The choice was obvious, but not simple.
At home, the families of our returning injured troops were provided a pamphlet, issued by the Canadian Armed Forces, instructing us on how to prepare for their return home. The instructions included subjects on how to knit covers for their amputated limbs, how to accommodate for their physical handicaps, how to avoid certain discussion topics, and how to act upon their return home. These were the same fathers and sons, who had left us months ago, returned to us now with not only their visible scars, but with the scars that only war could bring. For many, their return was enough, as many more did not return at all.
In the future, we will only be able to imagine what each man was thinking as the waist-deep water seeped through their uniform. As for today, we do not need our imaginations, as these heroes are still here living among us, within our generation. We are still fortunate enough to hear their stories first-hand. All we need to do is ask. Our veterans are the superheroes of our proud Canadian history and are the living icons of our Canadian heritage experience. Our current good fortune is due to their sacrifices, their courage, and their pride, as Canadians, to fight for their beliefs. Ideals which our current societies seem to have forgotten. Their stories should be compulsory teaching in our schools, taking precedence over any spiritual or ethical lessons we are foolishly attempting to provide today.  These men and women must be afforded the greatest of honour and respect from each one of us, as without them our world would simply not be, our world.
As the leaves fall and silently hit our yards, we know they have done their job in supporting the trees from which they came. Just like the men and women who sacrificed their lives and livelihoods to allow us the freedom and opportunities we hold today. Yet, unlike our leaves, our fallen rarely went down in silence, while carrying our dreams and our futures with them. Whether by taking a stand against world dictators or to protect our own Canadian way of life, all members of our society collectively fought together as one common force. Wearing the poppy not only allows us to remember the people we lost in those struggles, but redefines our beliefs in their personal sacrifices. For only those proudly wearing the poppy each year, can truly see the honour behind the flower.
So when you see our veterans proudly promoting poppies, go over and share a smile with them. Ask them about their stories, and about their lives. Their words have more meaning to us than any Hollywood script could capture.
Buying a poppy is the very least that they deserve from us, and is guaranteed to give you the most patriotic feeling, that you have felt in a long time. Knowing that these stories come from real people, in real times, could only add to our own experiences, right here in the SouthWest Corner.
R. Ghandhi

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Re-Visit Verdun in Today's World (a story from the Montreal Gazette)

been away from verdun for many decades now ,then you might like a quick visit courtesy of online Gazette,  Cheers ! LesF

  



                                  Wellington St. has come alive since Verdun ended its 'dry era.Wellington St. is that perfect mix of high and low, kitschy and urbane, old and new.

Every visit seems to yield a new place to discover, or an old gem to revisit. But Verdun’s main commercial strip has had its share of ups and downs. There were glory days in the 1950s and 60s, when Wellington St. was a bustling thoroughfare with department stores and high-end pastry shops. There was Woolworth and Kresge, but also Greenberg’s and Gagnon, and Patisserie Rosaire for fancy cakes. But then the métro system was extended in the late 1970s, and the easier access to downtown led to a decline in neighbourhood business.
Wellington St. nowadays has reason to linger. Deborah Interlicchia, left, Christelle Martens and Rafael Jassan with his dog Marciano, enjoy a warm fall day.
Wellington St. nowadays has reason to linger. Deborah Interlicchia, left, Christelle Martens and Rafael Jassan with his dog Marciano, enjoy a warm fall day. PHIL CARPENTER /MONTREAL GAZETTE
Fisun Ercan, chef-owner of the Turkish restaurant Su, at Wellington St.’s western edge, recalls the bleak landscape when she opened 10 years ago.
“The street was empty and very poor-looking, with nothing but small, cheap ethnic restaurants and boutiques that were changing hands or closing down here and there,” Ercan recalled. “We had white table cloths and crystal wine glasses, and customers were surprised to find that in Verdun.”
Now Su — with its turquoise chairs and colourful small-plate mezzes —  attracts diners from all over the city. And it has plenty of company along Wellington St. There are dozens and dozens of lively and interesting shops, restaurants and cafés along the street.
Chef Fisun Ercan at her Turkish restaurant, Su.
Chef Fisun Ercan at her Turkish restaurant, Su. PETER MCCABE / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES
Wellington St. is back, but in a newer, hipper incarnation. Its recent rise follows Verdun’s growing popularity as a lower-priced alternative to Villeray and the Plateau Mont-Royal, which includes Mile End. The working-class borough has been attracting students, artists and immigrants looking for cheap rents, but also young families and professionals in search of affordable properties to buy. And they in turn have welcomed a new generation of bright and inventive entrepreneurs who are opening businesses that coexist alongside old-timers who have weathered good times and bad.
Mary Lamey, a real-estate agent and former Gazette reporter who relocated from the Plateau to Verdun with her family a decade ago, says Wellington St.’s proximity to public transit (two métro stations within walking distance) and the neighbourhood’s compact layout have been important factors in its renaissance. Verdun is configured in a narrow swath that flanks the St. Lawrence River, its residential streets all within walking distance of the businesses along Wellington St.
Ezra Azmon does some busking on Wellington St., with Natalia Babanova waiting for him around the corner.
Ezra Azmon does some busking on Wellington St., with Natalia Babanova waiting for him around the corner. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE
“In an old-fashioned way, you can walk and find all the services you need,” says Lamey, when we meet for coffee at Café La Tazza, a 10-year veteran on the street. 
“When we first moved here, a croque monsieur was the best you could find to eat. But now we have our pick of more than a dozen really good restaurants — all of them within a 10-block radius.”
Of the newcomers, none is a better example of Wellington St.’s new persona than Boutique Réunion Cuisine & Maison, the smart, sunlit housewares and kitchen store that shares its 7,000 square feet of space with Librairie Verdun, a French-language bookstore and Café de la troisième, a compact café. The space, designed by star interior designer Zebulon Perron, is housed in a former Baptist church that was, before that, a Dominion grocery store. Stripped down to its concrete columns and original terrazzo floors, it is a dazzling space, all glossy teal walls and LED lights juxtaposed against a rough industrial shell.
Boutique Réunion owner Catherine Rousseau, left, chats with shopper Marie Fortin.
Boutique Réunion owner Catherine Rousseau, left, chats with shopper Marie Fortin. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Catherine Rousseau, Réunion’s owner, stocks her shop with exquisite kitchen linens and artisanal glassware and ceramics as well as high-end cookware and cocktail accessories. Her goal, since she opened at the end of May, is to showcase Quebec designers such as Tomas Design and Petits Mots. 
Local merchants and restaurateurs say the borough of Verdun played a big role in Wellington St.’s transformation, when in 2010 it lifted a decades-old ban on alcohol, making way for the microbrasserie Benelux, which moved into an old bank building right in the middle of the shopping strip. More recently, Bar Palco, with its laid-back, jazzy atmosphere, live music and craft cocktails, opened its doors right across the street — putting a decidedly stylish end to Verdun’s “dry” days.
As Kathryn Harvey explains in her historical reflection on Verdun in the Montreal Mosaic web magazine:”When Verdun came into being at the end of the 19th century, the city founders decided that their territory was not to be sullied by the noxious fumes of industry, nor by the vices associated with alcohol and hotel rooms. Consequently, Verdun remained ‘dry’ and industry-free throughout most of the 20th century. What it did have was an abundance of churches, whose many activities structured the leisure time of parishioners.”
Brandon Linhares with patron Samuelsson Arsenault at Bar Palco.
Brandon Linhares with patron Samuelsson Arsenault at Bar Palco. PHIL CARPENTER /MONTREAL GAZETTE
These days, that seems like ancient history. Manager Maeva Costedoat says Bar Palco has become a neighbourhood place, where locals pop in to drink chai lemonade with rum at the bar or to play board games at a cozy table on the mezzanine of this old clothing store.
“Verdun’s like that,” she says. “It’s all about the neighbourhood.”
What to see and do and taste on Wellington St.? Here’s a sampling:

SHOP:

Boutique Réunion
4750 Wellington St.
514-819-2294 
An inviting space filled with beautiful things, all of them hand-picked by owner Catherine Rousseau, who is on a mission to showcase works by Quebec artisans and graphic designers. She’s a cook herself, so her selection features good-quality kitchenware and tools as well as attractive kitchen linens and barware. Take a look around, browse the books at Librairie Verdun, which shares the space, then grab a coffee in the stylish Café de la troisième, which is tucked away behind the shop.
Boutique Réunion.
Boutique Réunion. PHIL CARPENTER / -
Boutique Brock-Art
4835 Wellington St.
514-762-2325
This shop, with its atelier at the back, features homespun, handmade furniture fashioned from recycled and upcycled pieces. Plus a quirky selection of midcentury kitchenware, dishes and collectibles as well as new handmade jewelry and giftware from Quebec artisans, with a large showing from Verdun.
Vintage clothes and accessories at Boutique Brock-Art.
Vintage clothes and accessories at Boutique Brock-Art. PHIL CARPENTER /MONTREAL GAZETTE

Boutique Brock-Art.
Boutique Brock-Art. PHIL CARPENTER / -
Café La Tazza3922 Wellington St.
514-768-3940
Johanne Minicucci opened her café a decade ago and has transformed it into a fine-food emporium. She’s a chatty, friendly presence, and the store stocks an interesting selection of cocktail syrups, spice mixes, olive oils, maple syrup, tea, coffee and other specialty items. In the lead-up to the Christmas holidays, it boasts one of the city’s best selections of fine Italian panettone and torrone, with the regular clientele putting in their orders as early as June. 
Johanne Minicucci with some of the cocktail mixes at her Café La Tazza.
Johanne Minicucci with some of the cocktail mixes at her Café La Tazza. PHIL CARPENTER / -

Spices and other goods at Café La Tazza,
Spices and other goods at Café La Tazza, PHIL CARPENTER / -
Copette et Cie
4650 Wellington St.
514-761-2727
Though it’s small, this just might be one of Montreal’s best cheese shops, accessed through a picture-perfect turquoise entrance. It specializes in Quebec cheeses, including local chèvre and buffalo and sheep’s milk cheeses. Plus there is bread from Arhoma and a selection of local charcuterie meats.
A sampling of cheeses at Copette & Cie.
A sampling of cheeses at Copette & Cie. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Copette & Cie.
Copette & Cie. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Branche d’Olivier
4342 Wellington St.
514-768-5930
This bulk-food store is the place to find whole grains, dried beans, rice and spices in bulk as well as vegetarian and gluten-free specialities from all corners of the world. It’s got olive oil from Tunisia and Morocco, date vinegar, rose water and halva from the Middle East, and canned goods and hot-pepper pastes from Eastern Europe. 

EAT:

Su Restaurant
5145 Wellington St.
514-362-1818
This stylish Turkish restaurant was one of the first new places to open on Wellington St. a decade ago. The ambiance is cheerful and the colourful and flavourful mezze plates are great for sharing. Main dishes of slow-roasted meats and grilled fish change with the seasons.
The mezze plate at Su.
The mezze plate at Su. PETER MCCABE / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES
Blackstrap BBQ
4436 Wellington St.
514-507-6772
A fun, casual, rustic restaurant with picnic tables at the front and giant smokers in the back, where dry-rubbed, fall-off-the bone ribs, pork shoulder and beef brisket are always smoking, Memphis-style.  
Chicken with fries with coleslaw at Blackstrap BBQ.
Chicken with fries with coleslaw at Blackstrap BBQ. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES
Restaurant Wellington
3629 Wellington St.
514-419-1646
Modern bistro food in a friendly, low-lit, minimalist setting with impeccably set tables and a blackboard full of specials. This bring-your-own-wine restaurant at the eastern edge of Wellington St. is always busy. The $45 three-course special is a perennial favourite. (Its sister restaurant Balconville Pub Gourmand, at 4816 Wellington, 514-419-1942, is a more casual place serving fish tacos, burgers and craft beer.)
The blood pudding at Restaurant Wellington.
The blood pudding at Restaurant Wellington. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES
Piquillo Bistro de quartier
3900 Ethel St.
514-750-7087
Not right on Wellington St., but just around the corner. This Spanish-Portuguese restaurant owned by chef José Ignacio Rodriguez and pastry chef Anabela Gonçalves, his wife, is always a treat. From paella, seared scallops or braised oxtail to pasteis de natas and flan, the food is stellar and the vibe is friendly.
José Ignacio Rodriguez and Anabela Gonçalves.
José Ignacio Rodriguez and Anabela Gonçalves. MARIE-FRANCE COALLIER /MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES

Petiscos at Piquillo Bistro de quartier.
Petiscos at Piquillo Bistro de quartier. MARIE-FRANCE COALLIER / MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES
Comptoir 21
4844 Wellington St.
514-564-3474
Fish and chips, hamburgers with a serious reputation and a very cool wall-sized fish mural made of salvaged wood and newsprint by Montreal artist Marc Gosselin makes this a fun place to stop for a bite to eat.
Comptoir 21.
Comptoir 21. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE

The fish mural at Comptoir 21.
The fish mural at Comptoir 21. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Cucina Linda Ristorante
3900 Wellington St.
514-362-9618
Old-school Italian eatery open for breakfast, lunch and supper. Overseen by Linda Minicucci, who took over from her father, Michele, who opened the restaurant in 1929. This is the place for home-style Italian comfort food like veal parmigiana, pasta e fagioli, manicotti and lasagna.

HANG OUT:

Sweet Lee’s Rustic Bakery & Café
4150 Wellington St.
514-846-9318
Bright red walls and shiny pressed-tin ceilings are the backdrop for this cozy bakery, which shares quarters with Café St. Henri. It’s owned by the enthusiastic young brother-sister duo of Liana and Greg Lessard, with help from their mom. The displays are practically heaving under the weight of their baking, both sweet and savoury. The offerings change with the seasons. Right about now they feature roasted squash and spice muffins, apple and caramel tartlets and chai-tea shortbreads.
Liana and Greg Lessard, owners of Sweet Lee's Rustic Bakery & Café with their mother, Claudia Settels, who works with them.
Liana and Greg Lessard, owners of Sweet Lee’s Rustic Bakery & Café with their mother, Claudia Settels, who works with them. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Tarts at Sweet Lee's.
Tarts at Sweet Lee’s. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Sweet Lee's muffins.
Sweet Lee’s muffins. PHIL CARPENTER / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Station W
3852 Wellington St.
514-508-9768
This café has become a neighbourhood hub, with locals dropping in for a quick coffee or sitting down with their computers for a day’s work. Bright, bookish digs and communal tables offer a low-key setting.
Bar Palco4019 Wellington St.
Can be reached via facebook.com/barpalco 
Have the chai lemonade with rum and coconut milk or a warm nutmeg-spiced toddy, depending on the weather. This laid-back neighbourhood bar, with its bottle-lined bar, white-painted chairs and easy-listening playlist is an attractive place for a pre-dinner drink or a late-night cocktail. There’s live music every Tuesday and a DJ on Saturday. Plus old-school vinyl on Wednesday. In summer, the terrasse is lovely.
Benelux Brasserie Artisanale4026 Wellington St.
514-508-5592

  Thanks for surfing by by the old Verdun Connections site: Cheers ! LesF