Nostalgia can be defined as a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time. Our parents often tell us stories about the “good old days” when the kids of the neighbourhood would gather in the streets to play stick ball or bathe in an open fire hydrant. We ourselves think back to a time when we would freely roam the streets on our bicycles and stop by our local convenience store (depanneur for our Montreal readers) for a jumbo Mr. Freeze or a Slush Puppy. Some of us reminisce over our college and university days. Each generation closely associates with its social experiences and the period or place where such experiences occurred. We are reminded of a time in our lives when things were much simpler. A few days ago we caught up with some old friends and visited a small neighbourhood cafe that evoked those exact feelings of nostalgia.
“It’s moments like this where I wish I had a pancake lens.”, Joey said.
“If you don’t hurry up you’re going to look like a pancake. I can see a car coming.”, David replied.
We were back in Villeray and Joey was sitting in the middle of the street, trying take a picture of Paroisse Saint-Cecile, while David nervously watched for oncoming traffic.
Joey: “Ok, got it!”
David: “Was it really worth almost dying over a picture?”
Joey: “Bro, have a little faith.”
David: “Can we go get coffee now? I’m dying here.”
David was right. It was almost 11AM and we hadn’t had our caffeine fix yet. There was just something about this neighborhood that grabbed our attention. Between its vibrant art murals, tucked-away alleys and quaint shops; Villeray is much like a small village within a big city. We slowly made our way down De Castelneau Street, until we reached Cafe Ferlucci, a small neighborhood cafe with a growing reputation.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Spring was just around the corner but we were still dealing with a winter that refused to die! We had hoped for a mild Saturday morning, but yet again the bitter cold was threatening our existence and testing Joey’s ability to take pictures for our article. Nevertheless, this was definitely not the first time we had visited the quaint neighborhood of Villeray. In fact, over the past few years, Villeray had become a regular meeting place for our bromance sessions. Its proximity to Jarry Park, the Jean-Talon market and Little Italy make it the perfect location for young families and empty nesters seeking a diversified urban lifestyle. With this change in social demographic, independently owned businesses have been seemingly popping up all over the area.