Up until now, my first dates have been during the day. So, I thought that visiting the Japanese Light Show would make a remarkable first night-time date.   The Japanese Light Show is in the Botanical Gardens and it so happened that the amazing Mosaic exhibition was going on. Unless, you have a season’s pass, the price is pretty hefty to get in and I didn’t find it fair to ask a date to fork out twenty-five dollars as entrance fee.  So, I went date-less. I felt a bit like a movie scout searching for good filming locations.

In order to reach the Japanese Gardens, I passed by some of the mosaics, and in particular one of my favorites, The Red-crowned Crane.


The Red-crowned crane mosaic, tells the true story of a young Chinese woman in the late 1980’s who traveled to the Yangcheng Nature Reserve to care for cranes. While trying to save an injured crane she slipped into  a swamp. Continue reading

Ten Great First Dates: Walk on the Other Side

An interesting first date, I find,  is to visit each other’s neighborhood. When Andre, a man I met online,  suggested that we go for coffee I counter suggested that we walk around his neighborhood, Saint Henri. I told him about my blog regarding Top Ten First Dates. He happily agreed.

It was in Saint Henri that one of Canada’s greatest authors, Gabrielle Roy, set her famous novel The Tin Flute, translated from the French Bonheur d’occasion. The novel depicts the grinding poverty of working-class families of Saint Henri in this post WWII industrialized section of Montreal and won several awards, including the Governor General’s Award, the Prix Femina in France and made into a movie in 1983. Truly a great novel.

I had read the novel in university and again a few years back and so one of the first things I asked Andre when I met him in front of the Lionel Groulx subway station was, “Are there any historical sites of Gabrielle Roy’s Saint Henri?” Continue reading

Ten Great First Dates: The Market

Raise your hands if you’ve been guilty of suggesting going for a coffee on a first date? Oh, my, quite a crowd.

Well, I’m here to tell you that going for coffee on a first date sucks for many reasons. First of all, meeting a guy for the first time makes me nervous enough without having to add more caffeine to make me look like I’ve just been released from a study on clinical anxiety.

I know. Yes, of course, I know. Coffee is just a metaphor for let’s meet somewhere (preferably a coffee shop) where you can tell me all about your favorite breakfast cereal and I can tell you how much I hate these first dates. Then what?

So, my suggestion is that you roam around a market where you can have interesting things to talk about.

For instance. Look at these beautiful leeks.


I have a great recipe for a leek pie. Took it from The Silver Palate Cookbook and modified it. No longer put in cream but milk. Sometimes substitute the Gruyère cheese for goat’s cheese, like the Greeks do. Have you ever been to Greece?   Oh, you have. So how do you like to travel? Continue reading