Photo cred - sazzypantz
The third decade (that's your 20's) of one's life is arguably the best, as it is one of limitless option and opportunity. A 20-something can and does get away with pretty much anything. Unlike the oppressive teen years, where restrictions often get in the way, one's twenties are a time to unabashedly test the waters, push every boundary, and begin to cement one's role, or at least perceived role, in society. All that personality that's been bubbling up to the surface finally gets a chance to manifest itself like a chrysalis about to poop out a butterfly, or something.
Montreal is a great place to spot a multitude of these pupae, for they are all around us and exist in great numbers. Now before you furiously take to the comments section to rant about how the following stereotypes can apply to anyone of any age, because lord knows that they do, the fact is that it's at the not-so-ripe age of 20 that they are most obvious. These Millennials are on the cusp of infestation, so it might be an idea to familiarize yourself with a few of the varieties.
While the punk movement began in the mid 70's, it's the twenty-somethings that keep it alive and well. Punks have always been anti-establishment, with impressive collections of piercings, tattoos and hair styles that defy the laws of gravity, and that still holds true today. Though, that said, nowadays, they are maybe not as underground as they used to be, since it seems everyone has a bit of punk in them. This new generation of Punks do still like their music loud, still play by their own rules, and still don't give a fvck what you think. Easily spotted around the Berri-Uqam area rocking out at places like Les Foufounes Electriques, Cabaret Underworld, and Trh-Bar.
Which came first - the hippie or the hipster? Believe it or not, the word hippie came from the word hipster, and not the other way around (gasp). The point is, while the times they have a changed, the same stereotypes still apply today, after all, it began as a youth movement. Largely defined by counter-cultural values, including unruly body hair, disregard for conventional consumerism, and a passion for an organic/sustainable lifestyle, though many of these aspects are now being assimilated into mainstream society. Hippie/Hipsters enjoy outdoor gatherings such as the Tam Tams, prefer not to wear shoes if they don't have to, and there's a very good chance they are vegan.
The world is full of sketchy twenty-somethings, and Montreal is definitely no exception. Hanging out with a Sketchball can sometimes feel like an invitation to get arrested or even jumped, as they are just inherently dubious and can turn any situation into a shady one. This is not to say that all Sketchballs are criminals, but it's hard to take them anywhere because they tend to engage in a wide variety of criminal behavior, or at the very least, overt inappropriateness. Sketchballs like to get fvcked up and lurk on street corners or loiter in parks at night. To an outsider, this can be quite scary or intimidating, but having a Sketchball friend does have its advantages...
Teenagers party hard, but everyone knows that the best partying is done in your twenties. No curfews, money to burn, an insatiable need to let your freak flag fly high. Partying in your twenties is pretty much as good as it gets, well at least in terms of recovery times. You can drink more, stay out longer, sleep less, eat whatever, and in the morning still be able to hit up a boozy brunch with your crew, spend the day at Piknic, and repeat the process all over again that night. Party animals live and breath the scene, and since Montreal has got the 7th best nightlife in the world, these animals are in good company. Some popular haunts include Le Belmont, Salon Daome, any kind of loft party, and pretty much the entire gay village.
Basic Bros/Basic White Girl (Various disciplines)
Bros and Basic White Girls get a bit of a bum rap, but they really can't help it. They are simply a by-product of the conventional/conformist/consumerist society in which we live. Usually found drinking beer from red cups/pumpkin spiced lattes from Startbucks cups, wearing baseball caps backwards/leggings as pants, and quoting Barney Stinson/Mean Girls, often without even realizing it. Whether we like it or not, this ever-growing subculture is perfectly groomed for the corporate world of today. And as we all know, corporations today are pretty much like god. Basic Bros/Basic White Girls are usually found at frat parties, clothing stores, sporting events, coffee shops, parks, pubs, you name it. They're everywhere.
Cause you're just a teenage dirt bag baby, but it's time to grow the fvck up, because no one cares about your heartbreak and unrequited love once you are firmly in your twenties. These are facts of life for everyone, so pining over what was probably a shitty relationship anyway, won't fly anymore. This ain't fvcking Twilight kids. Either get over it, or repress all that love loss like the rest of us. You can find Lovelorn Romantics wandering around wistfully at the Mount Royal lookout, or the scenic paths along the Lachine Canal and Old Port, generally at night, when no one can see them cry about their ex who's probably out mingling with strangers.
Photo cred - Flооd
You know that person who always has to have the last word, or will argue an irrelevant point for what seems like the sake of arguing? Well that's the classic Know-It-All, and they are at their prime in their early twenties. Usually fresh off some post-secondary education, where they always got good grades and knew all their teachers on a first name basis, Know-It-Alls just love to be right, even when they are so clearly, and utterly wrong. It doesn't matter to them, as long as you submit and give into their sense of intellectual victory. This is the person who puts their hand up in class, apparently just to hear themselves talk, will point out every time you mispronounce a foreign word, or any word for that matter, and unfortunately don't seem to get that most of the time, people just want them to shut up. No offense. But seriously, nobody cares.
Ok so, Serial Minglers is a polite way of putting it. Regardless of your preferred terminology, the fact is Serial Minglers are DTF. Montreal is full of eager twenty-somethings who absolutely love to mingle, shamelessly flirting their way through a room, searching for a willing partner to buddy up with for the night. With a #8 ranking for most beautiful girls in the world, can you really blame them? As easy as it is to shame this type of behaviour, a) it's totally natural and b) it gets much harder (and not in the good sense) as one gets older. So you know what they say, don't hate the player, hate the game.
If you weren't a bookworm as a teenager, chances are, you never will be. But if you have always had an affinity for burying your head in a good book, once you hit your twenties, it's fair game. For one thing, it's pretty much a prerequisite for student life, but Bookworms take their passion for the written word way beyond the classroom. Instead of crushing candy while waiting for the bus or metro, they will actually read, an actualy book, you know like many people used to do before the invention of handheld technology. Bookworms willingly pass on a night of heavy drinking with friends to stay in with a big cup of tea, or similar warmed beverage, and dive into some engrossing novel. Popular hangouts for Bookworms are sunny parks like Lafontaine or Mount Royal, as well as perched on the fire escape to their cat-friendly studio apartment.
Liberal Artists are a special bunch with plenty of good intentions and just about all the time in the world to realize them. They believe in stuff, and know things, and drink out of mason jars because it makes them look interesting, but the truth is, they tend to get caught up being so liberal that they can kind of lose their actual sense of direction. Like a spinning compass needle, Liberal Artists tend to be drifters, and will often over think the mundane, because the world is "not all black and white, man", and they just "want to make a difference." As much as they try to live the "vote with my dollar" attitude, the truth is their history degree has left them pretty much broke and they don't actually have that luxury. If they are not taking yet another online course because, you know, learning and stuff, they are hanging out in the McGill library, or some fair-trade coffee shop, waiting for the conference on Social Equality or Race Portrayal in Disney Movies to commence at the Quad.
Whether it's the food industry, the fashion industry, the film industry, or whatever other industry exists out there, Industry Folks are truly dedicated to their industry. Sure there's a world outside of it, but they wouldn't know it because it's just not as interesting. Their personal friends double as professional contacts, they spend their weekends networking at various functions, and they make sure to always stay on top of the latest trends, for they assume that the more they know about the industry, the better they'll fare. Sounds logical enough, but it can become rather frustrating to their inner circle who are constantly reminded that they are not in the industry themselves. Industry Folks are generally found hard at work in their respective offices, whatever space that may be, but also attending happening 5 a 7's around town, and definitely anywhere with a rooftop bar.
Photo cred - @ionvina
Thanks to well-off parents, Fortunate Ones are rather accustomed to a life of luxury and privilege early on, which they can hardly be blamed for, though it does sometimes lead to issues of self-entitlement. They are used to having nice things, never really worry about a budget, and their first apartment is definitely nicer than yours. While the Fortunate Ones won't fully comprehend their affluence in their early twenties (if ever), they do usually take advantage of it to get into good schools and will work hard towards a career that allows them to carry the torch. Easy to spot, Fortunate Ones take expensive holidays, drive nice cars, eat out a lot, and have rather active social lives, which let's be honest, is what we would all do in the same position.
Poor Misunderstood Musicians. They carry a guitar on their back and a chip on their shoulder. They brood with the best of them, and make music for "themselves, you know?". Often intertwined with the Lovelorn Romantics, Misunderstood Musicians will sometimes play gigs at open mics at Honey Martins and/or Brutopia, and sincerely wear their hearts on their sleeve. But we don't hold it against them because someone's got to write those lyrics our souls want to say. Besides, it's thanks to previous twenty-something Montrealers dedicated to their craft that we can claim some seriously great musical talent out there today.
Being young often includes being stupid, and some learn quicker than others. One's twenties are rife with ignorance, poor judgement, and overall lack of experience, which is perfectly normal, but Hopeless Naifs never seem to see the forest for the trees, so to speak. They live in a fantasy world most of the time and view life through rose-coloured glasses (bless them) which could be quite an admirable trait, provided it doesn't get them into too much trouble. They just can't believe that their landlord would intentionally stiff them out of their security deposit, that the obvious one-night stand was anything more than that, or that the world actually doesn't really give two shits about them. It's a tough pill to swallow, but they'll get it eventually.
Social media has truly taken narcissism to the next level, so much so that the selfie is now an actual word in the dictionary. Obviously quite the pro at snapping the perfect selfie (duckface optional), the Selfie Queen is much more than that. They are also immaculate fashionistas, coordinating every outfit before going out, making sure that it matches their mood, the weather, the occasion, usually with amazing results, and they make sure to capture it for their devoted Insta followers. Find them turning heads in St-Henri, for example, while grabbing a latte, no doubt on their way to class at Concordia or the like.
No surprise that you will invariably meet twenty-somethings who've recently graduated. Recent Grads, with all their lofty goals and high ideals, are unleashed upon the world in hopes of putting that degree to good use. Recent Grads feel accomplished, they feel like they have put in the work and it's now time to reap the benefits. After loving their time spent in school, they have somewhat unrealistic expectations about life after graduation. They soon realize the job market is cut throat, and there are literally thousands more where they came from. The smart ones at least got degrees in the coveted technical fields, but a majority are neck-deep in loans and are desperatel to land a position, any position, as soon as possible. At least they're educated, right?
Free time is one thing, but the Lackadaisical have so much free time that they forget to even look at a clock anymore. They steer clear of responsibility and commitments as much as possible, preferring to take it easy 7 days a week. Without any real drive or passion to speak of, they just sort of coast along without a care in the world. The Lackadaisical don't much care to do any doing work if they don't absolutely have to, and can't fathom the notion of unnecessary effort. You sometimes resent their care-free attitude while secretly envying it, but you know that in the end, when they're probably still living in their parent's basement in their thirties, your hard work will have paid off. Hopefully.
Many twenty-something Montrealers like to get behind important issues like no other age group, often taking to the streets to support them. If you haven't already met a True-Grit Activist in Montreal, you are not getting out enough, because English or French, twenty-something activists are all around us, fighting the good fight for the rest of us too self-involved to fight ourselves. If you really want to know what's going on in the world, behind the veils of political agendas and media propaganda, speak to a True-Grit Activist. They have a fairly good idea of what's actually going on, and believe me, they are not shy about sharing. Often involved with Red Square protests, you can find them browsing anarchist book stores, organizing vigils, and drinking craft beer.
Photo cred - @miedina
The Annoyingly Sensible
Despite the many stereotypes we can throw around about twenty-somethings, there are those that rise above them all, making good decisions and doing their best to stay on the straight and narrow. They are Annoyingly Sensible, never getting too hot or too cold, and usually land on their feet when the rest of us are flat on our asses. They call it a night early to catch the last bus home, they never over-indulge, and basically take the fun out of just about everything. But what they trade off for in excess fun, they more than make up for in money saved, lack of killer hangovers, and overall shame avoided. Careful about repressing all those impulses though, they don't call it a mid-life crisis for nothing.