In Montreal as elsewhere, the start to the summer of 2020 has been a trying time. Carefully planned dream vacations and travel to far-off destinations are scrapped. This year, it's Balconville or bust! Carifiesta? Fireworks? Jazz Festival? Just For Laughs? Forget about them as well. Covid-19 has undone everything. On top of that, for many there is little or no work.
Despite the disappointment, there are beneficiaries of the pandemic: dogs and gardens. Never before has the neighbourhood hosted so many happy pooches on seemingly endless walks, or featured so many meticulously manicured lawns and flower beds brimming with blooms. (The alliteration stops here.)
Recently, a friend commented about how there is new appreciation for the neighbourhood experience. People invite you to visit their vegetable patches and view contraptions they have engineered in what, no doubt, are futile efforts to squirrel-proof their cucumbers, eggplants, peppers and tomatoes; offer to trade peony bulbs come autumn; speculate about vaccine research and an economic recovery; even discuss politics both here and south of the 49th. In this area of town, we are an eclectic lot! But throughout the broad range of topics and opinions, there is a consensus: we are going to get through this together.
© 2020 Daniel Wiener