Montreal Chinatown

  Canada: Montreal, Quebec - September 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

A little bit of Asia in Montreal: it's the Chinatown neighborhood that I offer you a glimpse of, through two short videos.

These are two very similar montages, because I wanted to test the video function of my iPod Nano and compare with that of my small digital camera.

Chinatown # 1

Here is the first sequence, shot with the new iPod Nano.

Chinatown # 2

Here is the second sequence, shot with my antique Canon Powershot A95.

Filming with an iPod Nano: bof

Frankly, the picture quality is better with my little camera, I think. It was a little gray, and the tiny sensor of the Nano seems to me to have trouble managing the lack of light, even more than my Canon Powershot A95, which is nothing extraordinary. I find the rendering of the Nano a little greenish.

The Nano is so small, it's hard not to move. Fixed shots are still shaking a little.

Another thing I noticed: the Nano, despite its tiny size, is less discreet. Curiously, people weren't paying too much attention to my ordinary little APN (it's a trick, people think I'm taking pictures while I'm filming, hey! hey!). With the iPod Nano, they felt like they were being filmed and tried to avoid the lens more often.

Chinese district

Other than that, Chinatown did not impress me. In terms of neighborhood, Montreal's Chinatown is restricted to two-three streets, the most popular being the pedestrian street of Montreal. the Gauchetière where I shot these two little movies.

In fact, there are many other street corners and neighbourhoods in central Montreal that deserve to be called "Chinatown", given the presence of the Asian community. I have seen many Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian restaurants, sushi and noodle vendors, mini-markets and other Asian fast-food outlets.

But in Chinatown, there's one guy you can't miss, if you like Asian sweets: the seller of candy with dragon beard (Dragon's beard candy), that we see on my videos.

These are sweets made with sugar, peanut, sesame seeds, coconut and chocolate ... And the famous dragon beard, these are the funny stringy thongs it covers all. Four dollars a box of six.

Obviously, it's a bit of an institution in the neighborhood. The small counter, where you can observe the candy making, is very popular with tourists.


  Canada: Montreal, Quebec - September 2009

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Hey!
    Nice these little videos!
    It is true that the one made with your digital camera is more "clean" ...
    I had the opportunity to visit London's Chinatown a few years ago, in my opinion very similar to that of Montreal ...
    Finally, when you are young and thirsty for exoticism, nothing amazes you!
    Otherwise, there is mail waiting for you ...

  2. @Laurent: The music is the one that came out of the DVD shop and records that we see in the videos. Live atmosphere, like a day off!
    @David: Yes, I am not so convinced by the video option of the Nano ... troubleshooting, in a pinch. As for Chinatown, in Montreal, I just regretted that the neighborhood is not a bit wider. No doubt that having visited many big Asian cities, I become more "difficult" ...

  3. Hi Corinne,
    I'm happy that you like Montreal so much. Having lived 9 years in North America (English Canada, NY State and SF), Montreal is not very exciting or very different from other cities in East America. Of course there is the French side, very atypical on this continent, but when I was there, 6 years ago during a business trip, the only thing I noticed was that they were very pretty girls in the metro, much more laid-back, charming and exotic than their Paris counterparts ☹

    Having lived for 3 years in San Francisco - city that I urge you to visit if you have not done it yet - I allow myself to make a comment on the Chinese sweets: they do not really exist ☺ What you as seen it may be an adaptation of Chinese cuisine to Western tastes. If I remember correctly the only Chinese candy is a kind of sweet soup of beans, that I had the misfortune to taste during the wedding banquet of a Chinese colleague.

  4. Hello Corinne

    I discover your blog at the moment, j'adooooore!
    We also have our China Town here and I recognize that I like it. Ideal for eating well Chinese and to make a stock of Asian products. Very nice.

  5. @Max: It was the first time I set foot in a big North American city ... Unlike you, for me everything was new! I dream of visiting San Francisco and New York too ... It will come!
    As for any Chinese sweets, I'm not an expert on the subject. One thing is certain: the famous "Dragon's Beard Candies" is very popular with visitors to Montreal's Chinatown. Otherwise, I have already tasted, in Indonesia, pastries filled with a red bean paste .... And I loved!

    @ Hélène from Mauritius: Welcome to Little Bubbles Elsewhere! Delighted that you like it. Mauritius is one of the destinations that I intend to discover a day soon. All the people who speak to me tell me the same thing: the mixture of cultures is one of the great charms of the island. When I go, I would not miss a trip to the Mauritian Chinatown !!!

    @Nono: Yes ... new bubbles, which change from my usual tropical destinations! As for the guys in the Quebec subway, they seemed to me more smiling and friendlier than those we met in the subway of Rennes or Paris.

  6. Funny bubbles ... always so refreshing.Ta photo gallery is an incentive to discover Montreal. Max, he thinks the girls are pretty. And you, how do you find the guys in the subway?

  7. The Chinese of Montreal were at the party in this year of commemoration of Mao's accession to the Supreme Soviet. How do the Chinese of the diaspora see the emergence of their homeland?

    Now, a question to the community that breathes the little bubbles:

    the video reminded me of a public service TV show in the 70s and 80s, where a dozen young French-speaking people would roam the entire world armed with a small camera. They sent out a report every week on the subject of their choice and a jury, professionals in my memory, determined a ranking. I was a kid and it made me dream.

    Does anyone remember the title of the show?

    I went on Ina.fr but without the title of the show, not easy to find! thank you in advance

    PS: the image is much brighter on the Canon indeed
    PS 2: the background music would make the desire to "pedestrianize" in China Town but our local mood music have nothing to envy.
    PS 3: Okay for San Francisco. Magic atmosphere.

  8. Mmmmm, « Musique d’ambiance » dit Richard?? Étais-je le seul à croire dur comme fer que c’était Corinne qui chantait! J’avais même reconnu un petit accent dans le chinois… Bon ok, je sors 😀

  9. @Richard: Should a Chinese from the diaspora go through it to answer you ... But in the Chinatown of Montreal, I think I remember seeing a banner celebrating the 60th anniversary.
    Otherwise, for my part, I have no memory of the show you're talking about ... It should be nice to rediscover, this thing.

    @Max: Another myth that collapses ...

  10. @Richard: The race around the world? We had the equivalent in Quebec, which has had different names over the years.

    @Corinne: The camera of the iPod Nano is still much higher than I thought! Not bad at all when you do not want to lug a gadget more in his travel bag. Did you go to Bubble Tea at Magic Ideas finally?

  11. @ Marie-Julie: As I lug a camera that makes video anyway, the video sensor of the Nano is a little superfluous in my case. It will be troubleshooting, perhaps, everyday, occasionally, but probably not traveling ... For Chinatown, finally, no, I did not stop at Idea Magic. I did not hang out too much, in fact, the afternoon was well advanced, still rainy, and I was leaving a late lunch at Schwartz's, stomach well (too) weighted ...