After passing through rural Quebec (and passing by plenty of funny road signs), Kim and I finally pulled up to our host, Jean-François’s apartment in Quebec City (who we found through airbnb btw). Right away we noticed that this part of the city seemed extremely quiet – very few people walked in the streets, and the buildings, though quaint, seemed cold and barren.
But as we walked into the apartment (after a slight mix-up locating the keys) we noticed our temporary neighbors were seriously rocking out. We could hear them in our rented 2nd-floor apartment and they were…surprisingly good…and playing what sounded like folk/rock. Kim and I concluded that because the city is habitually so cold, people must just get used to staying indoors all the time.
Jean François’s apartment was pretty cool – it came equipped with a piano, two (at least) sitars, and a number of other interesting objects. His guest bedroom, where Kim and I stayed, was filled with interesting books and his whole apartment was covered in posters and neat photographs. This must be an indie town afterall!
We followed his advice and ate at Le Cercle, a restaurant/new age art gallery/club/bar on St. Joseph’s and had some delicious appetizers (the main courses were a bit pricey). But our meal was incredible – sliced yellow beets with goat cheese and walnuts and a fancy kind of ham (I’ve forgotten what it’s called) sliced to dip in a delectable spicy stone-ground mustard. The food was top, waitstaff were beautiful (or maybe it’s just this city), and there was even an art “exhibit” projected onto three huge screens that were suspended from the (very high) ceiling.
After dinner we asked the waiter what we should do afterwards since we didn’t know the area. He suggested we go to the adjacent club, LézArts (a play on the word “lézard” and “les arts”), which was having a free punk show that would be airing on a local Quebec TV station that promotes new music (!).
So after dinner, Kim and I walked next door to check it out, only to find that due to some technical difficulties, the band was not playing yet. We chatted to a guy near the door for a little while and asked him about the area. “The clubs on the top of the hill tend to have more douchebags,” he said, pretending to pop his non-existent collar. “Down here there are more indie types, but nobody seems to like to dance,” he imitated a stiff-legged, cross-armed indie kid, glancing around with his nose in the air. Kim and I laughed. Guess some things aren’t that different even in other countries.
When the band finally started up, we listened to a song or two, jumping and dancing around (and consequently being stared at). During a pause Kim looked at me, “This band is awful,” she said. “Idunno, I think they’re just punk,” I said. We listened to another song or two – the bassist wailing on his two chords, the guitarist trying ridiculous off-rhythm solos, and the drummer almost succeeding at drowning the other two musicians out. Kim looked at me, “No, I think they’re just talentless,” she said. This time I couldn’t help but agree. We asked our new friend, Christian, if he knew of a better place to go. “Yup! and it’s not far from here, 3 blocks maybe, called La Cuisine.”
So we ditched the bar right as the band was ending – apparently they were only playing for 30 minutes – and headed to La Cuisine, which turned out not to be the most happenin place…BUT we did get to play some old school NES and meet Christian’s arty friends. We called it a night not soon afterwards and headed back to the apartment. Tomorrow, day two in Quebec City!
Thanks again to Kim for the pics!