It's a calm Saturday morning. What seemed like the never-ending stream of hot days is over and fall appears to be approaching. It is now that seems most appropriate to write about my favorite weekend-chillout-catching up with friends-people watching-reading spot in Montreal. It also happens to be one of my most polarizing views. Very few of my friends seem to side with me when it comes to this preference but mainly because they have never been here.
My potentially short-lived return to coffee writing isn't about the best tasting cup of joe in Montreal but of the most comforting to me. The one that makes me come to my senses and say "Montreal ain't so bad". It's the shop that I walk into and right away have a smile on my face whether it's seeing the regulars around their usual tables chatting about everything and anything or the homogeneous mixing of different cultures, ages, personalities, professions, raison d'êtres etc. this aptly named coffee shop welcomes everyone but more importantly, and rather selfishly, it welcomes me.
This is the place where I go when I want to decompress, get my mind off of things, it's where I go when I'm looking for no fuss, no frills, just an honest cup of "latte, for here, no sugar".
It's served neatly, near instantaneously, and the payment is a smooth, in today's near cashless, tap to pay society, rewarding and in some way satisfying sliding of the bill or coins across the bar.
If you're anything like me, on a crisp, sunny, low to mid teens, end of summer day, you'll head straight for the terrace, latte in hand. Its perimeter is lined by banquettes and filled with scarcely any tables but always a few patrons there if not dead packed on glorious summer Sunday mornings. You grab a seat either at a table or just in an available chair or banquette seat. Once comfortably seated, you inhale the refreshing Mile-End air, pick up the handleless glass and take that first foamy coffee tasting sip. As it flows down your throat and warms your soul, you then proceed to a short session of people watching. Let's be honest, you're not going to start reading or working on whatever you may have brought along after your first sip. You're already comfortable at this stage and relaxed. You find that really what you're here for is to just chill.
I've repeatedly made the mistake of attempting to get some work done here. Most of my attempts have been in vain but I am writing this in my notebook (yes, pen and paper) so I guess some work can get done. The point is that similar to a pub in the UK, this humble spot is just that. It is unpretentious, brings a sense of peace to me, and offers the comforts that only the extension of one's living room can.
It is in this club, that I find myself, Club Social.