Bat-fans, get excited, because this is a bar event tailored to all the avid readers of all things happening in Gotham city, the home of the world's greatest detective. Tonight, Bar Le Ritz will play hose to the launch of DC's newest comic book "Gotham Academy," an original series all about being a young student in Batman's city.
Entirely free and set to start at 7pm, the launch of Gotham Academy will have the three creators (Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl, and Brenden Fletcher) on-site for signing of copies and who will also be part of a live Q&A. That'll be your chance to ask about the new series, and get a professional opinion on the ongoing debate of "who would win: Batman or Superman?" Given the setting of the new series, though, the answer may be a bit biased.
Gotham Academy focuses on the life and times of students at Gotham's premiere prep school, which sounds a little dull, but everyone knows anything that happens in the Dark Knight's hometown will be far from ordinary. Praised as a Bat-book with a different tone (in a good way) that utilizes a "fresh take" on Batman's world, all done with fantastic artwork, Gotham Academy looks to be a comic series definitely worth checking out.
To anyone anxious, Bruce Wayne is also the benefactor of Gotham Academy, so you can expect big ol' Bats to make an appearance sooner or later. Find out if it'll be the former or latter at the Q&A.
Gotham Academy's launch will be at Le Ritz tonight, October 2nd, starting at 7pm. Head over to the Facebook event page for more details.
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte
Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.
The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.
"Thank you to all our loyal customers, for the wonderful years," they said.
With a menu overflowing with huge, yet affordable, meat and mustard sandwiches — sauerkraut, pickles and Cherry Cokes were also standard — Boucherie Slovenia is the latest of the Main's iconic old-school institutions to close.
The beloved Moishes steakhouse announced its closure under the strain of the pandemic in the summer of 2020.
The Boucherie Slovenia Facebook post asks readers to share their memories of the restaurant and butcher shop, with many offering childhood stories of visiting for a pepperette sandwich or their "underrated" smoked meat, which is "the best in the city," according to one commenter.
Many apparent long-time customers said they wouldn't know where to go to find dishes comparable to Boucherie Slovenia's treasured menu items.
Others remarked on how yet another classic Montreal restaurant is closing its doors. "Nothing replaces these fantastic old shops," said one person. "It's a loss. The rich character of the boulevard is disappearing."
Montreal is certainly no stranger to a traffic jam, which makes taking public transit a more viable option to not only get around faster but do more good for the environment.
As Canadian cities take the initiative to improve their transit systems and reduce their carbon footprints, Montreal has become one of the country's greenest metropolitan areas when it comes to transport, according to one ranking.
A December report from Kijiji Autos analyzed green transport options in Canada's most populated cities, evaluating their use of electric cars, bikes, scooters, and the number of electric charging stations.
With its metro and bus systems, BIXI rentals, bike lanes, and availability of electric cars, Montreal found itself in third place among Canadian cities that offer the greenest transport with a score of 5.5/10.
Although Vancouver and Ottawa/Gatineau snagged the top two spots, Montreal takes the lead as the most bicycle-friendly city in all of North America, with a total of 2,163 bicycle paths, says the Copenhagenize Index.
Montreal's third-place ranking is encouraging news, said McGill University Assistant Professor of Geography, Grant McKenzie, who specifically boasted about Montreal's metro system, "especially compared to other Canadian cities," as well as its "substantial investment towards electric buses."
While McKenzie said "we can always do better" and bemoaned the city's ban on e-scooters, he called the popularity of the BIXI and the inclusion of electric bikes in its fleet an "excellent move in the right direction."
As for electric cars, Kijiji Autos looked at new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, as well as total charging stations. Montreal landed second to Toronto with a total of 3,633 new registered electric cars, and 1,258 electric charging stations throughout the city.
Kijiji Autos also looked at the number of hybrids and electric vehicles for sale on their platform. Montreal led the way with 1,063 hybrid vehicles and 375 electric vehicles, states the report.
With the province of Quebec offering residents a rebate for the purchase or lease of electric cars, Quebec estimates that there will be 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
An external report on the conduct of STM officers during a violent intervention at Jean-Talon metro has concluded that the officers in question were "justified" using force. The incident occurred on April 17, 2021, when two STM officers detained a commuter who allegedly didn't pay a fare.
This article contains graphic content that might not be suitable for some readers.
The incident, which was captured on video, caused a public outcry about the STM officers' conduct and called into question the tactics used by metro officers to apprehend people.
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The video depicts two STM officers in a struggle with, reportedly, a Black woman who didn't pay her fare.
The officers wrestle the woman to the ground. One officer, in an attempt to subdue the woman, appears to strike the woman in the head and face.
Bystanders attempt to pull the officers off the woman and one can be heard asking the officers to stop.
In April, the STM issued a statement that said, "As is often the case with this type of video, we do not see the entire event and the elements that led to the intervention [...] the force applied must be proportional to the degree of resistance and aggressiveness of the person. In this case, the person was aggressive, actively resisted and bit our employee, in particular refusing to release the bite."
What did the investigator have to say?
The STM commissioned the external investigation, conducted by police ethics lawyer Marco Gaggino, following its own inquest into the matter. In the end, Gaggino reached the same conclusions as the STM.
"In using force with respect to the person involved, and that this force was reasonable, necessary and in compliance with the Modèle national d'emploi de la force," explained Gaggino.
The video prompted some members of the public to suggest that racial profiling was at play. But the investigator wrote that "the facts of the case do not allow me to conclude that ulterior motives, such as racial profiling, were the cause of the inspectors' intervention, nor that such motives could have guided their decisions or their way of intervening."
Gaggino outlined three recommendations that he hopes the STM will implement:
"Review the coverage of its internal cameras in the metro to ensure that there are no blind spots in places where inspectors are likely to intervene and that it consider providing inspectors with body cameras with audio capabilities;"
"Review, in concert with external security resources, the way in which it processes and transfers requests for external reinforcement;"
"Provide inspectors with training on the theory and practice of on-foot pursuit, adapted to the reality of the STM for underground interventions."
For its part, the STM explained that it "aims at improving accountability given that special constables are subject to the regulation on police ethics." It said it would not comment further because of ongoing legal matters.
Calling all musicians who missed out on metro busking during the pandemic — your time has finally arrived. The STM has announced that it will finally allow the gradual return of musicians to serenade you on your commute on the Montreal metro.
While there will be "special measures adapted to the public health situation," according to the STM, metro musicians can look forward to a gradual return to form.
Musicians who are planning to perform must fill out an online form on the STM website. The form officially opens on November 22. Artists must create an account and agree to all health regulations if they wish to perform.
Sadly for those musicians who want to belt out 'Wonderwall' over the din of an approaching metro, singing performances won't be allowed for the time being.
All musicians will need to be masked, except if they're playing a wind instrument.
As always, performers will be allowed to set up under the blue lyres. Considering the regulations, the STM has only opened up five spaces: three at Berri-UQAM, one at Guy-Concordia and one at Jean-Talon.
If all goes off without a hitch, the STM will "gradually make more lyres available over the coming weeks."
Metro musicians will return on November 29.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.