I love Montreal alleys...and I'm not alone. Apparently there is a master plan for creating more green space in the plateau in particular. The plateau, where I live, reminds me a little of downtown Brooklyn and also of Philadelphia Center City, the part the juts up against South Philly. The alleys are of varying sizes and lengths of course, but most are lush and after today's rain, filled with exquisite, mossy air. Green cascades down from vine covered patios, canopies from fence to fence, leaps across, sometimes dipping to ridiculous depths. There are rarely cars in the alleys and even when they are wider than the average plateau street--which they sometimes are--there are few cars parked. Most are busy with cats, lots and lots of cats. Others with street hockey, girls on bicycles, dog walkers, cyclists--sometimes on huge unicycles. Sounds of summer drift down from patios, flashes of sizzling meat and pot. Below, the concrete is often calving, wanting to move on, which makes for treacherous cycling. Rifts of chamomile and vetches rise up out of the cracks, long pools of water collect. Garage doors are covered with vines, posters, graffiti, and with the biggest single moving day in the city nearly upon us, the furniture and garbage bags are beginning to pile up. Nowhere is there pressure to move on, no rush, only the cats slinking under wonky fences, someone out with a cell phone, smoking, carrying a baguette. It is certainly a city for the people. Imagine that.
And I think this is the tiniest alley I've found: