Sunday, June 03, 2007

Odds and ends in La belle province: Part deux!

I've finally gotten around to documenting some of the interesting signage in my neighborhood of Piccola Italia and adjacent Villeray and Rosemont, which I'd been meaning to do for about, oh, five years. This is by no means a complete archive, as 9 times out of 10, I don't have my camera with me when I see something interesting, but it's a start. There are countless people out there documenting signage in and around their 'hoods, and even some sites dedicated to collecting a comprehensive visual archive of their local sign heritage (see for example the excellent Logo Cities site, and my links section for more). These examples have more to do with the quirky ones from eras gone by that I fear are about to get torn down in the name of progress. I've already missed a few too many (the incredible Vegas-style exterminator at the corner of Christophe-Colomb and Rosemont comes to mind. Sigh...)

La Petite Bouffe (above) is a little 'casse-croute' which mainly caters to the local workforce. On the menu are standard greasy-spoon fare, including breakfast and lunch options. They recently replaced the handpainted sign that hangs perpendicularly to the building with this rather unfortunate flowered one. The previous sign, painted in an equally tentative but charming manner, had small steaming cups of coffee and the word RESTAURANT on a diagonal. None of this pansy country charm crap. Oh well. At least they still have the big arse swallowing the stool. Classic.

I caught these beautiful peeling CO-OP BAKERY and CAKE SHOP letters just in time, as they are now completely covered by brown corrugated sheet metal. Why that aesthetic crime was dreamt up and called progress is a mystery to me.

This is what happens when you wait too long to document something: nature takes over. For years I've been cycling by this mysterious homage to FAYE DUNAWAY, only to now find it partially obstructed by a young tree. I briefly considered hacking away at it so I could get the full view, but then thought that would be a bit barbaric. What has Faye done lately anyway?

If I could give awards for the most hilarious greasy-spoon restaurant name, these two would certainly win. Right across the street from each other are Beaubien Nouveau Système (fear not finding a loose bolt in your poutine, our machines are new!) and Hot Dog Élégant (no doubt boiled to perfection by dashing line cooks).

I remember reading "Ali Baba et les 40 voleurs" as a kid.
I don't remember anything about mufflers.


I've been wanting to have a glass of draft here for ages but despite the convivial sign, this is definitely a 'regulars only' joint. This shot was taken at 10 am on a Sunday, and let me tell you, the faithful were already worshipping at the taps. Praise the Lord and pass the sauce!

I dare someone to go in there and ask for "The Manhattan".

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