Sunday, December 23, 2007

Le Nordiques

This Quebec Nordiques toque was my best clothing purchase in a while. Since I picked it up for the super-low price of $9.99 at a sports store in Masonville Mall, I've gotten about a dozen compliments on it, most of them from strangers. None were women, unfortunately, but still, it's good to know I've got street cred with the average Canadian male. Everyone loves the Nordiques. They represented a better era in pro hockey, back when Quebec and Winnipeg were still in the league and Gary Bettman was just a twinkle in the NHL's eye. How does he still have a job? The league is undisputedly weaker today than it was when he took over, and yet Bettman's tenure seems unchallenged. NHL owners are apparently easier to please than a Maple Leafs season-ticket holder.


Westmount Mall is the new Smuggler's Alley. Long-time Londoners will get this reference. Smuggler's Alley was a downtown mall that in its last few years, was literally nothing more than a movie theatre and empty stores. It was an eerie feeling strolling past blank storefront after blank storefront on the way to the theatre, the one source of life within that entire godforsaken building. It even made the Galleria look bustling by comparison.

Westmount, however, used to be arguably the busiest mall in the city. I had a streak going at that mall for literally about 5-6 years that every time I went, I ran into at least one person I knew. Today, it's rapidly moving towards the Smuggler's theme of a bustling theatre and nothin' else. A Sears and a Zellers bookend the mall, but the top floor is almost otherwise stone dead. Even the food court is clearing out. My patented Westmount meal of New York Fries and an A&W burger is only barely still valid. My Mr. Sub backup is gone, gone forever. And when I asked a guy if it would be coming back anytime soon, he said he didn't know. *sob*

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