art montreal

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8

Cafe Nocturne

Location:  19 Rue Prince Arthur O

Metro Station: Sherbrooke

This next cafe is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cafes I have gone to. For all you Tumblr folk - get your cameras at the ready.

Walking in, the space is pretty small and cozy. I found myself lucky to get 2 seats for me and my friend. Everyone was working on their laptops and it really seemed like a productive atmosphere. 

The special aspect about Nocturne is its huge lit sign on the wall as you can see in the pictures. Contributing to its beautiful image is also the signature map and their vintage looking bookcase. 

We both ordered lattes and they were delicious! My friend was able to get hers with almond milk (for all you vegans out there). 

Interestingly enough, this cafe was called Kistune before it was Nocturne. The owners changed - therefore, they had to change the name but the layout is basically the same! You can find Kitsune in another location in Griffintown now (will be posting about that one soon).

This place is a charming addition to the Plateau area! It’s almost a classic despite its new name. A MUST visit in Montreal!

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*Storytime***

This whole journey of cafe crawling has made me learn valuable lessons about coffee of course, but also in life.

Up until last year, I could have been the most unadventurous individual walking on Montreal ground. I would stay in my house for days, sometimes drive for 10 minutes to get take out and basically be scared of everything out there. In the city. 

I had concluded that I was never meant to be a person who enjoyed sacrificing 2 hours for transport just to be in the heart of downtown. I had concluded there was nothing even to see in Montreal - nothing to love. In all honesty, I hated my city. But all of this was because I never went out to discover anything. I never tried. I never gave it a chance. I lived in Montreal but never felt like I belonged. 

Being an Armenian, I grew up surrounded by my own in a small community. I went to an Armenian high school, spoke Armenian with everyone I knew and that’s how simple life was. I loved how close I was to my culture but the easiness of my lifestyle never helped me evolve as a person. Instead, I remained in a box, unable to grow. Fearing the unknown.

In Summer 2016, I wanted to put an end to this lack of motivation and I wanted to jump out of my comfort zone. I wanted to know what my city had to offer and I was desperate to find a way to connect with it. 

And the best way was coffee. Cafe crawling.

I made my list (about 15 places at the time) and I went to each - one by one - dragging my boyfriend along with me. Slowly but surely, my list grew and my passion for discovering new coffee shops was blooming. I started going to cafes alone - facing my fear - being independent. 

That thrill of walking in a new shop with the fresh smell of coffee makes all of my anxieties fade. 

You might be asking yourself now, where am I going with this? Why did I write this much about my life when I have clearly titled this post “Nocturne Cafe”. 

My story behind this cafe is really linked with everything I mentioned above. The reason I came here in the first place was because my friend from Cegep asked me to take her on an adventure in Montreal. She might not have noticed, but her request was an honor to me. For the first time ever, I was able to reflect back on everything I had done the past year and the places I had discovered. I had never realized that I had become some kind of ‘adventurer’: a term that was unknown to me before. All I was doing was following an activity I truly loved.

When thinking about this very aesthetic cafe, I don’t only think about its beauty but I also think about it as a marking point in my life. The start of a new ‘me’. And I’m not saying that cause we just entered 2017.. 

It goes to show that anyone can be an explorer. All you need is the passion and the drive. Look at who I was before and look at who I am now - writing on my coffee exploration blog. If you want to discover more about where you are or who you are, take that first step. Go out. Get lost. Make a list. Throw out the list. Improvise. Anything. It’s up to you - you’re in charge. Just take charge and you’re set. 

So make that leap. Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a very nice memory the next time you go out for coffee. ;)

8

La brume dans mes Lunettes

Location:  378 Rue Saint-Zotique E

Metro station: Beaubien

Hello friends ♡ It’s certainly been a while since I’ve written on this blog… I apologize for that - I’ve been caught up with school and midterms, but I tried my best to update my Instagram at least (IG: legendoftamar). 

I come back to talk about one of my all time favorite coffee shops in Montreal. I’ve been saving this one because it’s not only one of the best I’ve gone to, but it also holds a special place in my heart. 

Let’s take ourselves back about a few months ago. On a cold November morning. Fall had just given in to an overwhelming snow storm, introducing winter to Montreal. When the first snowfall hits Montreal, a lot changes in the city. People get angrier, drivers forget how to drive, students arrive to school an hour into their lecture, the bus system gets suspended; basically, everyone loses their mind. Including me. 

I woke up that morning in a bad mood. I was in a bad mood not because of the snow. I was in a bad mood every morning. To understand why, we have to take ourselves back to many other moments of my life and frankly we don’t have time to relive so much of the past. Long story short, I have anxiety. And at that point of my life, it was taking over. I couldn’t deal with it and I didn’t want to deal with it and instead I woke up every morning in a miserable mood. I put on my makeup and put on my smile and went on with my day. But this morning, something in me changed. Maybe it was the snow that made me go insane. 

I was determined to go to a cafe before school. To leave the stress behind for a few hours. To runaway to a place I felt comfortable and at ease. I decided to take an earlier bus to the metro and make it to a cafe I had been wanting to go for so long. And where does the insanity come into play? The coffee shop was a good 10 minute walk away from the metro station. A 10 minute walk in a snow storm. In Montreal. Not Vancouver - where their snowstorm is basically 3 snowflakes per hour. It was pouring and the wind was insane but I still did it. The snow made me lose my rational thinking, but sometimes it’s good to be illogical and just go for it. I was the only one walking on the streets. My motivation impressed me. However, I should mention that I also forgot to save the route to the shop since I didn’t have cellphone data. I walked up and down streets like a lost little pigeon.. in a  middle of a snowstorm… but I found the place eventually. You couldn’t imagine my happiness when I saw “La Brume” through my snow-covered glasses.

As I was going in, I thought how lucky I was going to be to have the whole place to myself since no one else is as crazy as me to go out on a day like this. But when I opened the door, I realized the cafe was packed. To almost its limit. I could hear laughter, coffee brewing, milk being steamed, keyboard typing. I could smell freshly made pastries and fresh coffee. And the coffee shop scene I was witnessing - of baristas running around, students working and friends talking - was beautiful. Coming in from an almost deserted winter storm, where only the snowflakes dared to dance in the wind, I was greeted with warmth and people. The barista spotted me in the crowd of people and said hello from behind his counter. Sitting down in a little corner on the bar by the window, I looked around and all I could feel was happiness. Coffee lovers’ passion for coffee and company is contagious. I caught myself smiling and it wasn’t part of the make up this time. This was better than having the place to myself. 

This shop really does live up to its name. “La Brume dans mes Lunettes” means “fog in my glasses” in French. All their windows were fogged up, which gave the shop a gorgeous feel and isolated the cafe from the cold scene of the winter storm. My actual glasses did fog up also when I came in, so bonus points for that! I also realized the cafe had a little corner for an individual seating by two windows which was probably their best seat. Maybe I’ll get it next time. The walls were covered with interest art and decorations. Their main aesthetic was wooden. It was an overall beautiful cafe.

I spent an hour pretending to read my Differential Equations notes, but really all I was doing was taking pictures of my latte. But it made me happy. And sometimes, that’s all that matters. Sometimes you have to treat yourself to a beautiful moment - outside of school, outside of routine, or just outside, in a snowstorm.. It’s important to take some time to regenerate. If you’ve been going through a tough time - may it be for a few years or a few days - and you suddenly get the urge to spoil yourself by running away from reality for a little bit, do it. If you’ve been working hard to try to figure out life and doing your best to be your best, then you deserve having moments that make you happy. Getting out of your usual cycle can make you see life in a different way and put a lot in perspective. In my case, it allowed me to stop. Take a breath. Freeze in the cold. Rethink. Regenerate. And decide. Decide that I wanted to be happy. Decide that I wanted to stop being a slave to my anxiety and start learning to deal with it.