The flurry of work was starting to get overwhelming, but nature has a way of relieving us from this workload – Spring. This Spring Break allowed me to finally take a step back from the academic tasks that made it to my planner. Including staying at home to relax, I was able to go out and explore the little intricacies and wonders that Montreal has to offer.
With spring coming, the days are a lot more beautiful. The sun is shining and a lot more people are out doing their everyday activities – jogging, walking the dogs, grocery shopping, even a couple of performers in the downtown area have appeared. A perfect time to go out an explore the city I have come to call home.
About a 5 minute walk from the dorms, I found myself walking through the area known as Chinatown. With about $8 in my pocket, I set out to find something inexpensive to buy for lunch. I was pretty intimidated by all the unfamiliar signs and passed many shops, but I finally found a pho shop owned by an adorable couple. The shop was small and seemed to be locally run, but the food was amazing. I’m sure to keep the place in mind when I’m looking for a good meal again.
If you walk down about 5 more minutes from Chinatown, you can find yourself walking along the older ports of Montreal. Along these ports, there are plenty of exciting shops and beautiful parks to explore. About a block from Saint-Laurent along the pier, I found a great creperie called “Chez Suzette Creperie” where they have crepes not only meant for breakfast, but meal crepes filled with shrimp, cheeses and even salmon for those looking for a good meal.
Not only did I find great places to eat, I also had more time to take advantage of and discover the vibrant community of independent game developers. There are a large number of indie studios working to grow, and there is Execution Labs, an area where developers can get share an area resembling a big-time game studio without the large costs it comes with. Kyle and I went to a talk by Terrance Cohen, a Senior Engineer at Riot studios, where he gave a talk for the many developers using Execution Labs on how to continue no matter what happens to your company.
Even though I was able to find something to do on my own during spring break,Andrea, our activities coordinator, set up a couple of events during the break that students could participate in, including dim sum for lunch and sledding on Mont Royal. Andrea got us “Magic Carpets” to slide down on. To be honest I was a little apprehensive at first. But when I made it to the bottom of the hill with only a little bit of snow in my clothes and a small bruise, I was too eager to go down again. The experience is exhilarating and definitely worth going to.
Along with activities during the daytime, Montreal has an exciting nightlife for those who like to party the night away. With bars and clubs swinging open their doors, you’ll find plenty to do without needing to walk far from your dorm. Up Saint-Laurent street, my roommates and I have already designated a bar called McKibbins as our go-to happy hour spot.
When you’re up here in Montreal during Spring Break, don’t be discouraged from exploring somewhere you haven’t gone to yet. And if you don’t wanna go alone, there’s always some events going on that you can sign-up for free!
– Abner Herrera, Game Programming Major, Offical Blogger, Spring 2015