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Dream big. Blow through a million before midnight

April, 2010

Recently I was listening to how Boxer Mike Tyson and golfer John Daley managed to whittle away fortunes on exotic automobiles and gambling. What if we had the chance to spend a million dollars in Montreal?

How fast could you blow through it? How would you prioritize? I’m not talking conservative here – I’m talking real, hard-core spending. Let’s go back – perhaps 50 years – to when the city was rocking.

The first thing that I would do would be to head over to my local Steinberg’s to fill my pantry and freezer with the finest they offer, making sure to stock up on Ice Castle ice cream and soft drinks.

I would head down to Trans Island Motors and pick out the biggest and baddest Chrysler I could get my hands on. No tramway for me. In fact, I would buy two – an Imperial for my wife and a New Yorker for myself, chauffeur-driven, nonetheless.

Then I would be off for a game of golf in Hampstead. I would want to be close to the 18th hole, so I would buy a house or two in this up-and-coming community. Life would not be complete without a country house in one of the more exclusive Laurentian communities.

I always dreamed about travelling. Perhaps I would book a vacation via Trans Canada Airlines. What could be better than prime roast beef accompanied by champagne and fine silverware while well-dressed patrons smoked the finest Cuban cigars and sweet Caporal cigarettes offered by exotic stewardesses. I could jet-set to some far-flung island like Aruba or spend a week in London and Paris. Or better still, take a month-long cruise, experiencing Europe in extreme opulence.

Did I forget to mention that a whole new wardrobe would be in order, which of course would require an exclusive visit to the downtown Eaton’s store? That’s right, the Eaton’s with the apostrophe in the name.

I would have lunch on the ninth floor. Oh, how wonderful to shop at Eaton’s, with their wonderful salespeople who would greet you by name as if you were a long-lost friend. What a joy to ride in the elevators where the most beautifully chic operators would call out each floor and ask you to mind your step. Maybe I would really spoil myself and head over to Ogilvy’s with its wonderful bagpiper and terrific food.

Speaking of food, this city has no shortage of good restaurants. How about an evening at Desjardins for seafood, or steak at Moishe’s with all the trimmings? If I was in the mood for exotic fare, I would saunter over to Ruby Foo’s for the Poo Poo platter spare ribs and eggrolls that were out of this world. How about tasty chicken at The Chicken Coop? Or head over to Ben’s delicatessen on Burnside for smoked meat. To cap off an evening, nothing would beat Miss Montreal for coffee and dessert.

Having all this dough to spend, I would certainly want to flash some of it at the finest joints in the city. I would start at The Bellevue Casino and catch the showgirls and dancers. I would visit Chez Paree to catch the electrifying sights and sounds.

No evening would be complete without a stop at The Gayety, hobnobbing with Lilly St. Cyr and all of Montreal’s finest. At the end of the evening, I’d be stripped of my cash.

There is a lot to do in this town and the fun only goes as far as your money. But alas, we dream and reminisce about the good times. For most of us its family and friends that count the most.

Dream on, dream big and live life to the fullest.



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