The Blog and I

Who am I?

I am a thirty-something redhead of mixed (Irish, Japanese, Dutch, and mixed American) decent. I work in the construction industry as a structural engineer though I started out as an architect. I grew up in Chicago but in June 2003 my family and I moved to Montréal. I have also lived abroad in Versailles, France on two separate occasions in 1991-92 and 1995-96 for a total of 18 months.

What about the blog?

I actually started this through a misunderstanding. I had been commenting regularly on the blog of my good friend John. At some point, I misunderstood that you could only comment if you had a blog of your own. So I created one and at the time the biggest thing in my life was the move to Montréal. I figured it would be a great chance to document my observations and thoughts. Plus I thought it might be a chance to contact others in the same or similar situations.

A few months after posting occasionally, I was ‘discovered’ by Chris Hand of Zeke’s gallery. He introduced me to the vibrant blog community in Montréal known as YULblog. I have been fairly active in the ‘community’ ever since.

I have never done well in my English classes. I was always better at math and analysis. So it has been quite a surprise to hear from others that they like what I have written. It has been quite encouraging and I’ve been trying my best to live up to those comments.

This blog’s origin was to discuss the differences between Chicago and Montréal. Along the way, I began commenting on current events, posting photos I’ve taken, offering my observations on other aspects of life, and just plain goofing around. I don’t know where this will continue, but it will likely grow and change as it has in the past.

24 Responses to “The Blog and I”

  1. I envy you. I’ve lived all my life in Chicago, 7 yrs. ago I went to Montreal for a vacation & fell in love with the city. I’m a Paramedic here with the fire department, but would love to be there. It’s an interesting place where the fire fighters paint their trucks different colors, the bus drivers don’t wear their uniforms & all other sorts of job actions when they want to show their dissatisfaction over contract negociations. C’est incroyable la’ a mon avis!!

  2. Montréal is a great city as is Chitown. With pluses and minuses on each side. The strong unions are a plus (depending on who you talk to.) There is also more concern for the welfare of the people as opposed to the strength of big business.

  3. I don’t know much about Montreal but I think you got out of Chicago at the right time for many reasons. I’ve lived in the city and suburbs of Chicago my whole life until recently; I really want to go to Montreal and Toronto. I’d love to debate you on this; I think I’ve seen the darker side of Chicago.

  4. I came across your blog when searching “neighborhood boys & girls club” & again when searching “nbgc”
    I am also an alum of a boys & girls club located at Irving Park & Western Ave. Could this be the same club?

  5. The more I read, the more I LOVE it. I was born & raised in Chicago – now in SoCal for 13 years… there’s no other city like ours, although I must admit that San Fracisco comes pretty close. I grew up by DePaul university and attended Lincoln Park and consider myself lucky to have been raised in the gradious melting pot that is the Windy City.

  6. I stumbled upon this blog yesterday after I googled “Montreal blogs.” I was amazed. I was born and raised in Chicago (with breaks here and there, living in Krakow, Poland) and have lived here in Montreal for the past few years while working on my undergraduate degree. I just finished college I am trying to stay in the city, though looking for inspiration to fall in love with it again as I did 4 years ago when I first visited. This is the reason for my current search of Montreal blogs. Finding this one really made my day.

  7. J.R.: We lived in Lakeview/Lincoln Park before leaving and that neighborhood could really wear on you despite all the things it has to offer. I also noticed a bit of that trend you mention in other parts of town. It was one of my concerns when weighing the move since we had a newborn. Toronto is very very much like Chicago. Not as much crime, but it is increasing at the same rate. That said, I still love Chicago and always look forward to our annual return.

    moore2bee: Yep, it’s the same club. We lived a block north of there and I went there from ’78 to ’85. My father is still active in helping out over there.

    Elvira: I grew up in NorthCenter and went to Gordon Tech. I also feel quite fortunate to have grown up there.

    Maya: Montréal’s a great city. I guess I’m also in a bit of mood to be reinspired by the city. I’m glad you found the blog and hope it helps. Maybe I should go back and read some of my old posts.

  8. Great blog! I’m a fellow Chicagoan (North side Lawrence/Kedzie)and I made a comment a few months ago when I was just starting to prepare for the move to Montreal with my Quebecoise fiancee. Now I’ve lived here for 3 months and it’s wonderful but very different from home… the longer I am here the more subtle differences I see. By the way, when you moved here, how long did it take for you to start making friends and have some semblance of a social-life?

  9. Nice site. It’s fun to find people in a similar situation as myself. I didn’t grow up in Chicago (Ohio, actually), but I lived there for 5 1/2 years before moving to Montreal in 2005. I am just at the beginning of applying for citizenship in Canada (and I intend to keep my US Citizenship). I don’t know about you, but in response to Zulfikar’s question, I’m still trying to make friends and have a social life… even after three full years!

  10. hey, just recently discovered your blog. very cool. i’m a canadian living in chicago that might be moving to montreal. i’d like to discuss with you some of the finer points of living in montreal if possible….drop me an email please.

  11. Hi,

    I name is Evelyne and I am from Montreal as well.
    I found your site while surfing the net and really enjoyed it. I love the articles and quality of your site. I linked your site to my food blog.

    This coming March 2009 I will be celebrating my 2nd year of a dinner group I created. Its called Cheap Ethnic Eatz…well because we go to relatively cheap ethnic restaurants.
    Not long after its creation I started a blog to do reviews of places we have discovered and I also write the occasional article on food or cooking. I also built and am currently writing a website on World Ethnic Food.

    I would very much like for you to consider adding my blog or website to you blog roll.
    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Thank you!

  12. I also am a former Chicagoan living in Montreal now. I very much enjoyed
    your story about how you ended up in Montreal. I also fell in love with
    the city after doing my Master’s degree at McGill. Montreal is a perfect
    fit for those who have experienced life in Europe as well as North America
    (and other countries too)and do not want to have to chose one over the
    other. It has an exceptional blend of North American, European, and
    and even Asian influences that makes it a truly unique city.
    It is interesting to hear all the stories about how many of us
    ended up here in Montreal, and I look forward to reading some
    of the other stories.

    • Were you an international student in Montreal? I am planning on moving there, then becoming a citizen for cheaper tuition. Is that possible?

  13. do you sub contract?
    we just moved from Pittsburgh (me Canadian my husband from Michigan) and bought a house. I want to take out a load bearing wall… not very romantic but very real!

  14. Hi,
    I was curious what it would take to get a text link on your blog saying something like “Tungsten Wedding Bands” or “Tungsten Wedding Rings” with a hyperlink to our site (  We are a relatively new company and we are currently trying to improve our page ranking on Google.  We operate on a small budget, and we would be more than willing to give you a tungsten ring from our site in exchange for a link.  Let me know if this would be something that you would be interested in.  Thanks for any help you can give us.
    Thank You
    Superior Wedding Rings

  15. Hello Nick,

    Sounds good to me. A tungsten ring for post on the blog. I’ll contact you soon.

  16. Hi Frank! I didn’t know how to reach you. In your blog roll, there is “Sans Blogue”. It is no longer running. It changed for “Notre blogue” at
    Thank you!

  17. I lived in Montreal for most of my life and moved to NJ 8 years ago. I just got back to Montreal last year and must say that I shared some of your feelings upon my return to Montreal. Keep up the good work, Frank.

  18. Sofy: Thanks for the heads-up. The blogroll is horribly out of date. I should update it soon.

    Thanks, Mike.

  19. Hi,

    I’d like to speak to you about a blog opportunity. Please contact me


  20. I too am a Chicagoan in Montreal, but I’ve been here since the 70s and never actually lived in Chicago, where I was born. Glad to hear you’re enjoying Montreal.

  21. Your blog is a gem! I’m from IL living in DC the past 3 years and moving to Montreal in two weeks. Thank you for writing on topics I’ve been curious about. Keep the opinions coming.

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