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mtaussig's picture

Canadian French and French French: how different are they?

on Wed, 03/21/2012 - 09:32
A stop sign in Quebec

Like almost any cultural phenomenon, the French language you find in Canada has a many-layered story behind it. For one's not really Canadian French at all. Admittedly, the lion's share of Francophones are in Quebec provence (6 million of the 7 Million French speakers (about 22% of the Canadian population.) Canadian French is, rather, a patchwork of different languages (and the stories of the immigrant people behind them) that both overlap in some ways but remain distinct in others:

nickfortunatus's picture

Where to find the best poutine (and other foods) in Québec City

on Tue, 03/20/2012 - 10:26
Poutine in Untours Québec City

Although I've touted the things to do, ways to get around and places to stay in Québec City, I want to jump on the cuisine bandwagon that my good friend Marilee has been focused on (see here and here). The food in Québec can easily be overshadowed by the city's visual splendor and I want to make sure you have some places in mind to grab a spectacular souper the next time you visit our friends north of the border.

mtaussig's picture

Untourists of the Week: Tom & Pat Low

on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:37
Tom and Pat Low at Montmorency Falls with Untours Quebec

In Quebec, our favorite memory, oddly enough, considering that we loved the historic nature of Quebec, was in the modern part. One day, we just set off for a walk in the modern part of Upper Town. We came upon a staircase and an elevator on which you could descend to Lower Town. At the bottom of the elevator (or stairs if you weren't as lazy as we were) was a regular modern-seeming part of the city, and a park. But when you went inside the park, the noise of the city just vanished. I think that they have made the landscaping of this park especially so that it is a quiet spot among the noise of the city. The park (Jardin St Roch) even has a waterfall!. It was so unexpected to find it, as we did, just wandering around. [Editor's note: After talking with Pat, we did some research. It turns out that Jardin St. Roch is a fascinating story of a successful renovation of a historic district, once thriving, and then very much struggling in the suburban exodus of the 1960's. Recently this area was a scene of urban decay. Now it is a showpiece of civic and private collaboration to bring prosperity to the center of a city.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: Meet Andy Paminger!

on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 09:45
Untours Foundation Board Member Andy Paminger

Andy Paminger got to know Hal and Norma Taussig in 2010 when he began working as the Marketing Director at Untours. Personal circumstances pulled him back to Boston in 2011, but when asked to join the Untours Foundation board – and take on a long board meeting commute! – he graciously said Yes! It was a tough decision for Andy to leave Untours, but we’ve softened the blow – for all of us – by having him on our board. Andy appreciates that the foundation focuses on helping impoverished individuals help themselves. Here’s an introduction to Andy:

Childhood ambition: To travel the world

Indulgence:  Chocolate

nickfortunatus's picture

Untours Featured Property: Saint-Jean 4577

on Thu, 03/15/2012 - 10:52
Cafe on Rue Saint-Jean in Old Québec

Saint-Jean 4577

This apartment is brimming with one fantastic reason after another to stay here on your next vacation in Québec City. First and foremost, it's located in the Upper Town section of majestic Old Québec.

nickfortunatus's picture

French-Canadian Fun with Funiculars

on Tue, 03/13/2012 - 11:29
View from the Old Québec Funicular, Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec

One of the great things about Old Québec is how walkable it is. You can get anywhere you need to go from here by using any manner of transportation: walking, biking, busing or, my personal favorite, funicularing (that's not a word, is it?) on the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec.

mtaussig's picture

Untourists of the Week: Don & Deby Elliott (again!) bicyclists extraordinaire

on Mon, 03/12/2012 - 12:41
Deby in Quebec with statues

Deby says goodby to the ladies of Quebec. They, and their fellow residents, are so easy to get to know, and so's easy to see why the Elliotts think of returning.

elizabeth.killough's picture

Foundation Fridays: "B" is for Benefit

on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 09:23
Untours Founder Hal Taussig with B Lab Founders Jay Coen Gilbert and Bart Houlahan

One of our aims at the Untours Foundation is to invest in businesses with great values, that give back, and that don’t "take" to begin with. Using the Hal Taussig perspective, we live in the positive looking for wins for all involved including business owners themselves, vulnerable populations that need jobs, the earth, shareholders, customers, neighbors of businesses, etc.

nickfortunatus's picture

Untours Featured Property: Saint-Andre 304

on Thu, 03/08/2012 - 10:11
Untours Quebec City

Saint-Andre 304
As I mentioned the other day, there is more than enough to do in Québec City to keep you busy for weeks. And, if you're going to the so-called National Capital anyway, why not experience it like a local and stay with Untours? Am I right?

mtaussig's picture

On the menu this month: yummy culture clues from Quebec cuisine

on Wed, 03/07/2012 - 10:23

Over the centuries,the Quebecois have transformed a French culture and language that they brought with them to the New World.  In the case of food,  perhaps the most distinct change is the addition of foods that are grown locally (eg: maple syrup) and the prominence of foods one loves to eat in the winter season (warm hearty soups, heavier sauces)  or in some cases, can only make in the midst of a cold winter, like the maple taffy pictured here.