My First Trip To Montreal

May 6, 2009
By Brad Dye

I remember a long airplane flight, many years ago, trying to get to New York City from somewhere in western Canada. It was the middle of winter and the weather was very bad. LaGuardia Airport was closed down because of the snow, so we had to land in Montreal. They told us not to worry — that LaGuardia would open again in a few hours. I said, “no thanks, I am tired, it is late, and I am going spend the night here and try again tomorrow.” I had never been to Montreal before, so I got a hotel room near the airport and “crashed.”

My flight the next day was scheduled for the afternoon, and I had nothing to do all day. The only people I knew in Montreal were paging people. I had become good friends with Claude Everton (VE2YI) who was the technical guru at Scotpage Corp., the largest paging company in Canada. When I called him just to say hello, he insisted on picking me up for lunch. That turned what was about to be a very boring day into one I will never forget.

Claude came to pick me up with Marty Hornstein (VE2MH) who worked with him at Scotpage. Marty turned out to be a most interesting and charming fellow. He asked me if I liked steak. I said yes, and then he asked me if I would like to have the best steak I had ever eaten. I said yes, but then added something like, “with all due respect, I have traveled all over the world for many years and have eaten in some of the world’s best restaurants — this would have to be a really good steak.” He just smiled.

It was too early for lunch so they took me on a tour of beautiful-downtown Montreal. Marty proved to be an amazing source of historical information about the city. He gave me a thorough lesson in history as we drove by many old and magnificent buildings. These were not just casual comments — it was more like taking a college-level seminar from a history professor. I found out later that Marty speaks about a half-dozen languages fluently. Here is one particularly interesting thing that I remember:

“The Sun Life Building, built in 1931, was for a time the tallest building in the Commonwealth. During World War II its vaults were the secret hiding place of the gold bullion of the Bank of England and the British Crown Jewels.” [source]

When lunchtime came, we went to Moishe's Steak House. I was a bit embarrassed, since I wasn't wearing a jacket and had to wear one that the restaurant loaned me in order to get in (this is a classy place). That feeling soon faded as the owner, who knew Marty very well, greeted us like royalty. Service? Well it doesn't get any better than this. The owner stayed by our table for a long time telling us the most hilarious jokes. It was almost like Vaudeville Theatre.

Let me just say that the steak I had — a grilled prime rib — was indeed the best steak I have ever eaten before or since. I was very happy to learn that Moshe's in Montreal is one of the best and most famous restaurants in the world.

Moishe's Steak House

Montreal’s Jewish community didn’t just give the world Leonard Cohen, Mordecai Richler and William Shatner; it also gave birth to this world-class steakhouse. The defiantly non-kosher menu offers a justifiably famous shrimp cocktail alongside the T-bones and filet mignons, but side dishes like potato latkes and verenikas harken back to the old country. But be warned: Moishe’s strictly old-school staff takes reservations less than literally and more often that not guests face a long wait at the bar. Fortunately, the classic dining room and extensive wine list more than make up for the wait.

From: Forbes Traveler, World’s Best Steakhouses.

So like a lot of things in life, what I thought was going to be wasted time, and an unpleasant experience, turned out to be something wonderful.

Marty Hornstein, and Claude Everton will both be attending the Global Paging Convention in Montreal, June 17 - 19, 2009. It will be worth the trip just to see them again.

I hope you will be there too.

I have long believed that if you don't make friends through your work — and you work almost all the time — then you may not have very many friends at all. Fortunately, I have made many good friends in the paging community — all over the world.

I am looking forward seeing my old friends, and making new ones, next month in Montreal.

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With best regards,

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Newsletter Editor

73 DE K9IQY

Brad Dye, Editor
The Wireless Messaging Newsletter
P.O. Box 13283
Springfield, IL 62791 USA
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Skype: braddye
Telephone: 217-787-2346
E–mail: brad@braddye.com
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P.S. Rumor has it that McCormick® Grill Mates® MONTREAL STEAK® seasoning is similar to the seasoning that is used at Moishe's Steak House. I buy it here in my local grocery store and sprinkle it on my steaks before cooking them. It brings back memories.