You Can’t Go Home Again

Earlier this summer I gave a graduation speech at my old high school—I am a member of the Class of 1960—in Montreal. I lived and worked here for a long time but moved away seventeen years ago, so I was looking forward to revisiting old haunts. Montreal is a vibrant city, in many ways more European than North American, the sidewalks were crowded with tourists, lots of cafés, the streets criss-crossed with bike paths. But it was no longer my city. My city is the Montreal of the sixties and seventies, the city of Leonard Cohen and Mordecai Richler, of Hungarian restaurants where you could get poppy-seed pancakes and ludlab cake, and of jazz clubs where you could hear Mingus and Evans. All gone now.

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