Montréal Chronicles 3. – What a nice neighborhood!

Un parque cualquiera en Villeray
Un parque cualquiera en Villeray – Some park in Villeray.

My neighborhood is alive. It’s a bursting with life from dusk until dawn. I was silly, believing that it would be the same as the silent group of buildings I was living in, in the National-Capital. People were mostly minding their own business, aside from neighbors from Hell (I believe I talked about them before. Those crappy students were partying every single week), my last building was as quiet as the cemetery nearby. Of course, I know that living close to a graveyard may seem like the scariest thing in the world to some people. Nevertheless, they don’t understand that it’s just the reason this neighborhood is a quiet place to stay; and this «gringo» cemetery has such a beautiful view. Call me dark all you want, but you are really missing on something lovely.

Anyway, my new neighborhood is pretty lively. Formerly inhabited by Italians, there are still a few of them who speak the language, mostly old people. There are also some restaurants and (why not?) a very popular local parish. When the old Italian people die, this church will probably get closed as it happened to some other places; and it will be converted into a communal center or – if we are lucky- a library. Italian business will certainly remain open for a while, because everybody still enjoys a good meal made of real Italian products.

Italians who are still living here are sharing the space with people from the whole world, literally. For example, there are Arab, Asian, Latino, Center European and African families … and maybe some Canadians in my building. I hear people speaking aloud in languages that I’m not capable of understanding. Kids play happily until sunset, under the shelter of the trees of the homes’ private gardens. Even when I go to any of the small businesses to buy something and they get a glimpse of my latin accent, they try to talk to me in Spanish the whole time. I always smile because I realize I’m going to talk my mother tongue more than the usual, but I’ll be also able to learn how to communicate in those other languages I’ve learned before and which I missed because of my haste to adapt. I may learn some other, I don’t know.

Meanwhile, I’m often awakened by my neighbors at any time of the day. They share with me a vitality that I felt I was missing. It assures me that I’m alive and that life is showing me there is a word of possibilities just a few steps away.