Time Travel and Walking to New York City


Fats Domino became famous for Walking to New Orleans. A quick scan of the lyrics confirms that his goal was to trek to the Big Easy. It’s not like he went for a stroll and just ended up in Nola, is it?

One beautiful day last week in Montreal, with the sun shining but the wicked humidity having eased its smothering sweltering grip on the city, I decided to take advantage of these ideal conditions and get in an extra long walk.

I started out heading west toward the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. This double-barrelled name is fairly recent; when I was a young lad the two were separate entities, so I still find myself saying I was walking toward NDG. I made my way along Sherbrooke Street, taking in the sights and sounds of this combination residential-commercial district. Listening to my favourite oldies station on my iPhone, I was lost in my own little world when suddenly I noticed something very odd.

Anyone who is familiar with the Province of Quebec and its draconian language laws will understand that the language of commercial signage can be a touchy topic.

Anyone who is familiar with the Province of Quebec and its draconian language laws will understand that the language of commercial signage can be a touchy topic. French must be much larger than other languages and so on. Well, not only did I find myself amid a sea of English-only signs – on stores, a newsstand, even road signs – but I seemed to have made it all the way to New York City! Moreover, I had somehow managed to not only walk all the way to NYC, but I had, according to the dates on the magazines, walked to 1979.

Moreover, I had somehow managed to not only walk all the way to NYC, but I had, according to the dates on the magazines, walked to 1979.

Vowing to never touch another drop of the gargle, I did some exploring and, with great relief, discovered I had not traveled back in time, nor to NYC. The actual explanation was less exciting than time travel, but interesting just the same. The filming of Scream 6 required transforming parts of NDG into late-seventies NYC. This retrofitting of a major street to make it look like 1979 New York City was not complete, but enough of a change to make unsuspecting passersby take a second and perhaps third look.

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