Updates from April, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 16:26 on 2020-04-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Went out for a desperately needed walk after being inside for several days. Seems everyone around here felt the same. I was passed so many times by joggers. People were even walking and running along Crémazie, which I thought would be a safely unpopular street for a walk.

    Line of cars waiting to go into the Starbucks drive-thru on Crem. Couldn’t make sense of that one.

    It’s like, get home, check the web to see what horrible news I may have missed in the hour and a half I was outside.

    But some things never change. Someone’s messing around with a circular saw outside, the inevitable accompaniment of spring.

    • Blork 16:42 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I heard my first neighbourhood lawn mower today. I don’t think he was mowing; just fired it up to make some noise I think. (I.e., maintenance.)

    • jeather 19:43 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Kate, I hadn’t been to Starbucks in months but lately it is all I have been thinking of. I can’t blame the people.

    • Kate 09:46 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      No, no blame, it was just odd. The Crémazie service road was much, much emptier than usual, except for this long line of cars snaking around the Starbucks. It’s not like there’s a coffee shortage.

    • DeWolf 11:52 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I guess people were desperate to go out for a coffee and they figured a drive-through was safer than walking up to a takeout window?

      I was out on my bike yesterday and it occurred to me that it was that classic first brilliant day of spring when everybody flocks outside en masse. It’s hard to blame anyone for wanting to go outside. I didn’t see much bad behaviour, though. Everybody seemed to be keeping their distance and the biggest group of people I saw was three.

    • Kate 12:06 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      DeWolf, I don’t even know if you can walk up to that Starbucks window. A pedestrian can’t get in line with all those cars.

      Is Olimpico open for takeout? Café Vito’s got a side window, so if I wanted someone else’s coffee I could walk down and get one there, but I’m actually quite happy with my own. It’s not the coffee I want when i go out for coffee, exactly, but the “third place” effect.

    • david99 12:14 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Man, there will be some hardcore economic ramifications soon, and maybe some more deaths – both of which are major bummers.

      But, overall, I’m not complaining about this situation.

      Working from home means I’m sleeping more, and I’m eating a lot more interesting stuff than usual, as I have more time to prepare stuff. I’m shopping at my local places, so no lines. And I’m still doing plenty of takeaway.

      Unlike some others, walking around, I’m finding the streets are mostly peaceful and largely empty. I’m catching up on projects, and generally enjoying the pace these days.

      Maybe I’m an introvert and didn’t know it?

    • Dhomas 13:04 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Chez Vito offers delivery, along with many other local shops. A handy list:

    • Chris 14:02 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      >It’s not like there’s a coffee shortage.

      But not all coffee is equal. If, at home, you have only lame drip coffee, then getting to Starbucks (if that’s your thing) is a big step up.

    • Dhomas 14:28 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I’m not a fan of drip coffee. I don’t quite like Starbucks, either (their espresso generally tastes burnt to me). It’s not real espresso, but this makes a reasonable facsimile for home use on a budget:
      A 2- or 3-cup version is usually cheaper, but sold out right now.

    • Kate 14:32 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Dhomas, I have a La Pavoni machine, a moka pot as backup, and a smaller moka pot as backup to the backup.

      Every couple of years the La Pavoni has to go into the shop and be tuned up, which is not cheap – it’s like owning a small Italian sports car that makes coffee – but is worth it. Hence the backups.

      When you’re addicted to espresso, you realize at certain moments your happiness depends on rubber gaskets.

      I don’t drink drip.

      Also, thanks for the Eater list.

    • Dhomas 14:41 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Hah! I hear you! I always keep a couple of gaskets on hand. It’s generally the only piece you’ll need to keep a Moka pot working. They sell the gaskets at my local coffee place (Prima Goccia on Jean-Talon, close to Langelier). La Pavoni looks nice. I’ve been meaning to buy a better espresso maker since I’ve been working from home for about 18 months, but my bialetti has been serving me well. If I manage to keep my job through this pandemic, I’ll look into a La Pavoni. Thanks for the tip!

    • Kate 15:22 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Dhomas, there are definitely more modern machines that are more reliable, and probably less expensive, than the Europiccola. I was given this machine some years ago by someone who wasn’t using it, which was wonderful, but since then I’ve spent on it the funds that would’ve bought at least one new spiffy machine, and not Nespresso junk either.

      I’ve been told by an experienced espresso machine guy that the older La Pavonis are better, because the working parts are made of metal, whereas in new ones some of the insides are plastic. But any used machine would have to be given an overhaul by somebody good.

    • jeather 15:24 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I don’t think Starbucks is good coffee, and I have perfectly good — better than Starbucks! — coffee at home, and I’m going to order beans from La Myriade soonish. Starbucks is not even where I go when I want coffee in a third place, it’s just that Starbucks is Very Normal and I miss normal.

    • GC 17:15 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Wow, Kate, you take your espresso seriously!

    • CE 17:28 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Re: Crémazie. I’ve actually been walking on some streets I normally wouldn’t (including Crémazie) due to the lack of cars and their pollution/dust/noise. It’s been interesting to see some of these streets from sidewalk level rather than from a car window.

    • Dhomas 18:50 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      @Kate: It’s too bad that La Pavoni is cheaping out on components. The machines are quite aesthetically pleasing. I’m more about function over form, though, so if they don’t work well or the total cost of ownership is too high, I’ll look elsewhere.
      @jeather: yeah, I don’t think Starbucks is all too good, either, but I know some people who love it, so I was trying not to be too inflammatory. 😀 I prefer a simple espresso, and Starbucks’ is just not good. Everything else on their menu is like a hot milkshake, with a touch of coffee, but tons of sugar.

    • Ian 19:04 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      I’m fine with a regular diner coffee, black with 2 sugars. I drink a lot of coffee, and even make a point of getting good beans and grinding it fresh as I use it but I prefer drip filter coffee, that’s how I am. But I get it, going for a coffee is a simple destination and an excuse to get out. I’ve been making a point to fire up the car once a week just to make sure it still works, I imagine for a lot of people going for a drive-through coffee is a little taste of “normalcy”… I don’t like to drink coffee in my car, and takeout coffee from an espresso place always felt like a decadent expense.

      I do miss bars though. I can’t be the only person that felt a little twinge in their heart yesterday, on what would in “normal” times have been the first terrasse afternoon of spring.

  • Kate 09:30 on 2020-04-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s a bit of news to give us pause: the SPVM has bought not only a lot of masks, but also more than a thousand bulletproof vests at a cost of half a million dollars. I wonder what kind of popular uprising they’re expecting.

    • John B 11:57 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I believe every police officer, (at least in uniform?), wears a bulletproof vest whenever they are on duty, so this probably just means they may anticipate having more officers on duty at once, or more hiring, or, (if they currently share), less sharing.

    • Ian 12:19 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Thanks. John – that does sound (relievingly) considerably less ominous.

    • Kate 13:06 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      I think my 2012 instincts kicked in there for a moment…

    • Blue 13:09 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      A Montreal cop just had a photo of himself posted on Instagram by his wife partying it up with other people in Sainte-Therese, and two days ago, he was in his house in Montreal.

      Add insult to injury? They had the gall to hashtag quarantine on the photo.

      All that to say…I can never give cops the benefit of the doubt. 2012 instincts should be activated.

    • qatzelok 13:15 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Blue, you are mixing up two very different things: the aims and behavior of the police departments and their leaders, and the aims and behavior of one single person. Not related.

    • Bert 15:49 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Also, lots of things “expire” so they need to be replaced as they age out. Helmet (bike, moto, etc.), baby car seats, water (yes, look at that package of bottled water) canned food, etc. I would even venture that some things that people would consider non-perishable has expiry dates, like ammunition,tires,…..

    • GC 17:30 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Doesn’t all food have to have an “expiry” date, by law? It doesn’t mean it’s not safe to eat–just perhaps not as fresh. Very few things are going to be good one day and then magically bad after midnight, as well. With a lot of things–dairy, especially–it’s pretty obvious when it’s gone bad.

      For food, at least…I have no idea about ammunition. In that case, I could guess safety concerns might warrant disposing of it after a certain amount of time has passed.

    • Chris 14:04 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      It could also just be “never letting a crisis go to waste”. Perhaps they’ve always wanted xyz new equipment, and now no one will deny their request.

  • Kate 08:53 on 2020-04-04 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has a thoughtful piece on the multiple reasons Orthodox Jewish communities are extra hard hit by COVID-19. Members of the community are concerned about being regarded as scapegoats, since it doesn’t take some people long to start blaming Jews for things.

    • dwgs 09:55 on 2020-04-04 Permalink

      Not that it’s the best barometer but the comment section in the Gazoo ‘s piece on Perez the other day very quickly became a cesspool. Chilling remarks about “chosen people” and how they deserve what’s coming.

    • Ian 19:18 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      In all the comments sections, in both languages. It’s rather horrifying how blatant anti-semitism is still such a thing, and lurks so near the surface. It takes very little to trigger it, but when there’s a real crisis it’s like we’re back in the 30s with all the same bigoted language.

    • Kevin 23:13 on 2020-04-05 Permalink

      Those bigoted blowhards love the internet because they think they’re anonymous and nobody calls them out on their nonsense.

      Responsible companies block them.

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