If Eman El-Husseini and Jess Salomon look familiar, you might have caught their comedy special on Crave: The El-Solomons: Marriage of Convenience. Or perhaps you recognize them from @theelsalomons, an Instagram account featuring illustrated vignettes from their lives as Jewish-Palestinian wives, comedians and moms to puppy Esther Honey.
Maybe you saw them perform at the Royalmount this summer or heard about their new BBC podcast Comedians Vs The News, in which they "take on the headlines and find the funny in the stories the world is talking about."
Regardless of what these two are doing — and, clearly, it's a lot — they're experts at taking whatever life throws at them and finding the funny in it.
And since the pair met in Montreal where Salomon grew up, we can still consider them 'our own' even though they're currently based in New York, right?
The El-Salomons recently spent two months in a chalet near Chertsey, Quebec riding out the pandemic, and they gave us their top three tips for keeping your spirits up in confinement.
"I barely ate and I'm driving in snow and I have a wife that's stressing me for eight hours. So we got to the place that we rented and I passed out, sleeping like a baby," El-Husseini told MTL Blog, recounting the early days of quarantine.
"But then I wake up to my wife crying at two o'clock in the morning writing this huge status update about how sad she is."
Salomon explained that she doesn't typically write long, emotional statuses in the middle of the night, but it was "not the time to telephone anybody." Plus, El-Husseini was asleep.
"It does feel like a place where you can kind of unload," Salomon said. "People were so supportive."
The couple said the pandemic is also a good time to use social media to catch up with friends.
And though El-Husseini poked fun at Salomon, turns out the joke's on her.
"Jess left all of her worries on her Facebook," El-Husseini said. "Then she passes out, and now I can't fall asleep."
Step up your food game
El-Husseini and Salomon both agreed food is a point of contention in their relationship. Salomon's the type to pack boiled eggs for the road and El-Husseini's the type to scout out roadside dives à la Guy Fieri.
But the two have been having fun in the kitchen lately.
"When COVID came around I really had to step up my game with cooking almost defensively so she wouldn't go to a restaurant," said Salomon.
"That's how we managed to keep our relationship together. Me turning into a five-star, James Beard award-winning chef."
Since they couldn't leave the chalet during their two-week quarantine when arriving in Quebec, they indulged in regional specialties — each ordering May Wests, and Ah Caramels, which they didn't realize came by the box-full.
"We weren't sad about [it]," said Salomon.
"And Eman bought a home poutine making [kit] — the gravy from St. Hubert and the fries and the cheese curds."
Change-up the content you consume
"The first twenty headlines [in U.S. publications] are Trump, Trump, Trump," said El-Husseini.
"Just taking a breather away from that [can help]. 'What's happening in Ethiopia? What's happening in Argentina? Oh, a politician kissed his wife's breasts during a zoom meeting?' You're just like, 'This is great!'"
If you're not listening to their BBC podcast, they recommend escaping with light, "junky" shows like Selling Sunset, The Circle and Family Feud.
And if you do watch the news? Adopt a comedian's mentality.
"Our brain is sort of trained to find the funny," Salomon explained.
"You just hope for moments like the fly landing on Mike Pence's head. That was the happiest people have been in a long time as a group."
Address: At the corner of boulevards Saint-Laurent and René-Lévesque, Chinatown, Montreal
Why You Need To Go: Montreal always has a way of coming to life and night and the new installation "Place des Souhaits" simply adds to it. The wish tree part of the piece twinkles at night! It's also set up next to a patio where you can spend your day chilling.
Why You Need To Go: Seven spaces along avenue Mont-Royal will be recreating colourful urban gardens for the rest of the summer. You'll be able to find a colourful skate park, a light and shadow garden, a rose mural, and other unique spots to check out.
When: Every day until September 6 from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Address: Place des Commencements; 200, rue de la Commune O., Montréal, QC
Why You Need To Go: You can find Place des Commencements located at the end of the Grand Quai in Old Montreal, which has a lovely beautiful green terrasse where you can sit on chairs and admire Habitat 67 and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.
Remember back in elementary school when spending time in the cafeteria was the best part of your school day? Well, at Time Out Market Montreal, we get to relive that childhood love for cafeterias — just in a much classier manner.
This culinary hot spot is officially opening again on Friday, July 2 with some new restaurants. I got to go try dishes from some new places yesterday and here's what I thought!
Naturally, I started to get pretty full after these two meals. But, I still made sure to leave room to try Le Blossom's salmon poke bowl. I forgot to take a photo of it first though, which tells you how good it was since I couldn't wait.
Other new restaurants that I didn't have space in my stomach to try include Campo, Tunnel Espresso and Le P'tit Dip.
It's been a fraught postseason for officiating during the Stanley Cup Playoffs as NHL referees have been accused of a series of blunders and non-calls that have influenced the outcomes of critical games and series.
But after Montreal's Game 4 loss to the Las Vegas Golden Knights on Monday, many Habs fans are taking it to a different level: They are calling for a referee to be fired.
"In recent years, we have already noticed Chris Lee for all the wrong reasons in the hockey world. Whether it's for goals, or questionable penalties," states a Change.org petition, which has gathered over 26,000 signatures as of the time of writing.
"However, in the last two games, opposing the Montreal Canadiens and the Vegas Golden Knights, we have seen time and time again the inability of Chris Lee to do his job as a referee in the NHL. Whether it's for a number of dubious decisions, or for his ill-concealed favouritism, we, as NHL fans, demand the immediate dismissal of Chris Lee."
MTL Blog has reached out to the NHL Officials Association for comment on this story. This article will be updated when we receive a response.
Though the petition might not cost the veteran referee his job, Lee wasn't officiating Game 5, which the Canadiens went on to win, so there's that.
Many hockey pundits criticized Lee for his performance in Game 4 after not calling a roughing penalty on Brayden McNabb's punch to Nick Suzuki's face at the end of the second period, though he seemed to have a good view of the incident.
And then in the third, Tomáš Nosek's blatant hit on Shea Weber from behind, a potentially dangerous play, did not result in a penalty.
In Montreal, summer means more than just fun in the sun. It's a season that brings people together — something many Montrealers have been missing over the past year.
There's no doubt summer 2021 is particularly special. With restrictions easing for the first time in months, the spirit of celebration is in the air, and people are ready to make this season one for the history books.
Is there any better way to kick off summer in this city than with Saint-Jean-Baptiste? As a celebration of Quebec's heritage and history, it’s one of the province's favourite holidays and with good reason. From bonfires and barbecues to fireworks and fêtes, St-Jean is when Montreal truly comes alive.
This summer, Pepsi® may even help you to seriously upgrade your plans. The Drink Pepsi Get Summer Stuff contest is giving Canadians the chance to win thousands of prizes like bicycles, paddleboards, barbecue grills, merch and more, including a weekly chance to win $10,000.
Whenever you grab a Pepsi cola this summer, submit the unique codes found on specially marked Pepsi products at www.pepsistuff.ca for your chance to win! Make this June 24 one to remember with one of these seven outdoor ideas.
Why You Need To Do It: No St-Jean would be complete without a feast to match the fête, so fire up the grill and get cooking.
With COVID-19 gathering restrictions shifting in Montreal, you might be able to even kick it up a notch and have a backyard potluck — while following all pertinent COVID-19 safety guidelines, of course. Include some fave Quebec cuisine, like the famed poutine, to really go all-in on the holiday.
Watch Fireworks From A Rooftop
Why You Need To Do It: You're never too old for fireworks, and there's nothing quite like watching this spectacular display each St-Jean.
This holiday, call up your crew and find your way to a viewpoint, like a rooftop terrasse, to catch a glimpse of the show for yourself.
Have A Picnic In A Park
Why You Need To Do It: Whip out your picnic basket and fill it up with your fave food and drinks for an idyllic — and free — way to celebrate the holiday. You could even pack a Pepsi for each of your friends and submit those unique codes for a chance to win some sweet summer stuff.
Montrealers are spoiled for choice when it comes to parks. From Mont-Royal to La Fontaine, Jarry, Angrignon and more, the only hard part is deciding where to meet up.
Why You Need To Do It: Band together with your roomies or friends to host a pandemic-friendly celebration in your backyard. Organize food, drinks, games, a playlist, and don't forget to decorate with all things white and blue to commemorate St-Jean.
The best part about this one is that you'll never have to go looking for a bathroom.
Grab A Drink At A Terrasse
Why You Need To Do It: With Montreal terrasses open, soaking up the sun while sipping margs, mimosas or an alcoholic-free beverage is a splendid option for a summer afternoon. And on St-Jean, there's no better way to catch up with friends and celebrate all at once.
Why You Need To Do It: Since St-Jean honours Quebec's heritage, it's also a chance to embrace some local history too.
Place Vauquelin Fountain and Dorchester Square are a few of Montreal's fascinating historical sites that you can check out. Plus, with few visitors in the city right now, it's a great time to play tourist in your own town.
Go Swimming At An Outdoor Pool
Why You Need To Do It: During peak summer, especially on a day like St-Jean, escaping to an oasis in the heart of the city can be exactly what's called for. Thankfully, Montreal is home to many outdoor pools, some of which are free and others that require a small fee.
With the Drink Pepsi Get Summer Stuff contest you can make the day one you'll never forget. With a chance to win a weekly Grand Prize of $10,000 and thousands of instant prizes like barbecue grills, bicycles, paddleboards, shirts and more epic summer gear, there may be no better time to sip a Pepsi.
Be on the lookout for specially marked products with on-pack codes. All you have to do to enter is redeem your code on www.pepsistuff.ca for a chance to win.