Midnight Poutine in Montreal

Midnight Poutine logoUnlike other domains profiled here, Midnight Poutine is not someone’s personal blog, but rather, a blog collective owned by an entrepreneur named Tim Shore. The writers get some of the revenue paid by advertisers.

Tim Shore also owns blogTO which serves Toronto, and Beyond Robson in Vancouver – all under the holding Freshdaily.ca, which as of Feb 28th 2009 is still under construction. But Tim and Fresh Daily are not the subject of this profile – this post is all about Midnight Poutine, because it’s such an absolute gem. The picture below is very indicative of the type of citizen journalism that doesn’t wait for snow removal or police barricadfes to come down before finding and reporting the truth from a Montreal pedestrian’s perspective.

Montreal bike riderWhat is Poutine?
Poutine is a dish consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds, covered with brown gravy. It’s comfort food, especially in Quebec and it’s a signature dish in many Montreal eateries.

What’s in Midnight Poutine?
Midnight Poutine.ca is a perfect blog name. It correctly suggests unique content about Montreal night life, arts and culture. Readers who spot the domain name in a blog roll are instantly motivated to investigate, just to see if the destination lives up to what they imagine it should be, and it does.

About Midnight Poutine
Tim ShoreMontrealers need Midnight Poutine. It’s a personal ongoing account of the city’s happenings. It’s a delicious high-fat source of rants, raves and musings. It provides the insight you never find in newspapers and the details and tangents that would never fit in a weekly. It possesses cheese-like flexibility. It’s sometimes snarky, often unusual and always informative. Your order has arrived. Dig in.

A blog with seven authors
There are at least seven contributors in the About Us index. Some write more than others, but each maintains a presence in their genre to offer readers a smattering of local content that cannot be found in newspapers or anywhere else online. My favourite author is Jeff daSilva, I like his style the best and identify most with his local news subject matter.

Jeff daSilva
Jeff daSilvaJeff is a fashion working rock/skate type guy who loves dodgy bars, pubs, and all sorts of music. A terrific example of Jeff’s work is something he wrote after visiting a liquor store, in the province of Quebec where he postulates that BYOB will soon have  a new meaning – bring your own bag. Liqour laws are different all over Canada.

SAQ in Montreal

The portal is popular and will, in the future, help Montreal become a better city – some of their link bait content includes a rant post about the bus fares and cost of public transit . This post is one of their most popular, even though it’s entirely in French!

Midnight Poutine has a very popular Flickr photo group, with thousands of images, and has just emerged on Twitter where they have 13 followers – these are early days.

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Black Sheep Reviews in Montreal

Black Sheep Reviews

Joseph Belanger writes about movies in a snappy review blog with cute seasonal banners. Black Sheep Reviews was born in September 2005 just after Joseph realized that he could combine his love of writing, and his love of watching movies in a recipe for success online.  This blogger’s natural passion for cinema, and his literary aptitude are equally obvious – that’s what makes his blog posts so delightfully personal and easy to read.

Joseph Belanger at laptop computerThis guy is an expert on vintage cinema, and something of a student on the old Hollywood studio system. He seems quite familiar with the careers of veteran filmmakers Roman Polanski, Howard Hawks, and Canada’s own Norman Jewison. Black Sheep Reviews is packed with the same kind of detailed information found in professional movie critic’s daily newspaper columns, and specialized film magazines. In my humble opinion, Joseph’s blog is better than most newspaper film reviews, and that’s because he’s real. He writes first from love, and second for money (coffee money).

Three years later, Joseph is more committed to this volunteer project than ever, and doing daily reviews has patterned itself into his overall identity.  Perhaps only the other bloggers reading will understand that sentiment. Joe takes it seriously. He believes that this vocation is the most important job in his life, and as such it defines him. In his own words, “It’s a part of me.  I wouldn’t know who I was without it.” As an example of this blog’s quality, here’s Black Sheep’s review of the animated Wall-E movie, Hello, Wall-E!  Meet Dolly which reads like a transition piece – unless I’m mistaken, this post actually marks the first time Belanger has branched out past singular film reviews to write about film trends. He scours the papers and reads Entertainment news and has personal relationships with editors and ‘gate keepers’ that hold the secrets and leak the tasty tidbits to alternative press. Be sure and check out (and join) Black Sheep Review’s Facebook Group which now has almost 500 members and it’s growing as people all over Canada discover Black Sheep Reviews.