Sunday, June 6, 2010
The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal
Long before I lived in Montreal, on Crescent Street, one of the most bustling shopping/cafe streets in town, I visited with my mother and grandmother.
My grandmother was known for taking fabled trips to Montreal, setting up shop in Ogilvy, the gracious department store, energing only to return to her equally gracious hotel, the Queen Elizabeth.
When she returned to the Island, she always brought me a little box, from the wonderful fudge shop beneath the hotel. And so it was that I associated the Queen E, as Granny called it, with food: first fudge, later with sliced-chicken sandwiches, which I ate in the hotel for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was also introduced to a pastry cart in the Queen E's dining room, and remember well the lemon tart I sampled, some 36 years ago.
I also saw "The World's Greatest Athlete," starring Jan Michael Vincent, as a reward for being good in the shops all morning while my mother and grandmother tried on coats (an utterly tedious experience for a 3rd-grader and perhaps why I still dislike shopping so very much).
But the Queen E is famous for more than food and its proximity to fashion, for in June 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded "Give Peace a Chance" there, during their second bed-in (the first was in an Amsterdam Hilton).
I am not returning to Canada this summer, so I am extra wistful for my home. Would that I could "give Queen E a chance" in person . . .