CITY BEAUTIFUL: In 1881, Mark Twain described Montreal as a city "where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window." In 2018, we might describe Montreal as a city where you can't throw a brick without hitting something beautiful. Seriously, you can't even walk to the pharmacy, on a warm June night, to pick up some garbage bags, without being left speechless again and again and again. The beauty of this great city isn't the natural, and thus accidental, beauty of BC or Banff; it's deliberate. Vanity's a virtue here in Montreal, and the city's beautiful because it wants to be. Something wonderful is happening in this city. Despite corruption scandals that would make a Latin American dictator blush. Despite crumbling municipal infrastructure that's made much of downtown look like the perfect place to shoot a post-apocalyptic disaster movie. Despite all of these things, and against all odds, there's a buzz of creativity here right now unlike anything I've seen before in my lifetime.