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L’Affichiste
471 rue Saint Francois Xavier (east of rue Notre-Dame ouest)
Montréal, Québec H2Y 2T1
(514) 656 3301
www.laffichiste.com

Montréal brought us various temperatures and weather activity this weekend, but it did not deter us from going out and about in the city. On Saturday, we walked around the Old Port, which I usually avoid doing during the summer weekends since the beautiful neighbourhood can be awkwardly packed with visitors during the tourist season. However, our goal was to drop by L’Affichiste, a vintage poster gallery with collections mostly derived from European and North American sources.

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Though I had not heard of this gallery until recently, a friend of mine was looking for a particular type of print poster that would complement one that she bought in Paris during the spring. Her research brought us to L’Affichiste whose walls are decorated with beautiful and bright illustrations, many from France. We were focused on the posters from the Loterie Nationale that were commissioned from the French National Lottery established in 1933. These posters held by L’Affichiste are sized around 16 x 24 to 32 x 47 inches, and priced around $240 to $1,675 CDN. Many of these art works are illustrated according to the Art Deco style of the period.

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As an exclusive user of virtual calendars, contact lists, and notes, I have come back to the fold of paper-based agendas. How did this happen?

Two years ago, I went to Indigo Bookstore here in Montréal in search of a proper, physical agenda — paper ones that you can actually write with a pen. A sales associate showed me their current collection which was a measly three or four hard cover books that did not meet my size and content specifications. Since then, I have relied entirely on my Google Calendar, Google Tasks, Google Contacts, and Apple Notes. I used to have both a paper agenda and my virtual organization platforms that I would access with my laptop. But once I got a smartphone, I transitioned entirely to the virtual agenda. I thought to myself, “How on earth did I live without a smartphone?!”

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Everyone is talking about Daft Punk’s newly released album, Random Access Memories, which came out just three days ago. I still have not gotten around to listening to the new album but I did read snippets of press about the band and their current initiatives, including this interesting article from The New York Times last week. (The Parisian duo own a home in California and speak accent-less English?) What was also in recent news was that the singer of the above classic, One More Time, Romanthony, who was an influential house producer and singer in his right, passed away at the young age of 45 earlier this month. I love this song and even though it is from Daft Punk’s early work, their second album in 2001, Discovery, I consider it a quintessential Daft Punk song — pounding house beats, glamorous upbeat vocals, and 80’s nostalgia. And of course, the awesome animated video makes this video worth revisiting. This will definitely tide me over until I finally get a listen to their new album.

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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Bookstore
211 Rue Bernard Ouest
Montréal, QC H2T 2K5
(514) 279-2224
www.drawnandquarterly.com

I love leisurely visits to the bookstore. However, I am cognizant to the fact that this pleasure of mine is becoming an extinct activity — when you can get cheaper prices online and download e-books to your Kindle, what is the use of going to a bookstore? Personally, I always love holding a book; I love flipping through its pages, appreciating the cover art and layout, and feeling the weight of the cover between my hands. So it may be of surprise that while I love technology I am not converting to e-books just yet. And as long as brick and mortar retail bookstores exist, I will always be that regular patron taking up an aisle space a bit too long.

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Drawn & Quarterly is one of those bookstores that I truly appreciate and not just because it is amongst the last independent bookstores standing. It has a small storefront in the Mile End neighbourhood of Montréal although it is also a publisher that specializes in comics and literary arts. Notably, D&Q “discovered” the comic book artist Daniel Clowes and his series Ghost World, which became a motion picture in 2001 starring Thora Birch and a young Scarlett Johansson.

As expected, D&Q stocks quite a bit of graphic novels including works published in-house, such as those by Canadian cartoonist Seth; the famous Maus series by Art Spiegelman; as well as lesser known authors to discover. The store also hosts a slew of events in support of comic book and graphic novel artists in addition to other cultural gatherings. Also of note: the store is one of the few places in the city where you can grab a copy of David Chang’s (of Momofuku fame) quarterly magazine, Lucky Peach. Plus, they have a bookshelf built in the shape of a rocket to hold a whack of Tintin’s comics.

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[Image Credits: @tomoko]

Hilary might not enjoy Starbucks, but I sure do. Yup, I know they are a monopoly on the verge of taking over the world (Number 2, the character in the movie Austin Powers, is the sole shareholder) and their roasts are way to dark for the palate. But I am a sucker for any good study spots where I can camp out with WiFi for hours, and Starbucks is one of them. I actually jumped in glee when a new location opened up in my neighbourhood and loved that they played The xx’s Stars in the background. For sure I support the other cafés in my neighbourhood, but I definitely do not discount Starbucks as an option.

Well, for Tokyo-based Tomoko Shintani, she visits Starbucks for the purpose of being at Starbucks. That is, she does not go there to study or work like I do, but her Starbucks visit is for the purpose of creating illustrations using Starbucks paraphernalia. Her black and white drawings are unapologetically cutesy and girly, and Tomoko uses her Staedtler pens to incorporate her mugs and paper cups into her drawings. You can follow her on Instagram @tomoko. More of her illustrations follow below.

 

 
Via Fast Company