a bit about Yulia
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a graphic designer and a photographer working in game development and studying marketing at McGill. I've been into visual arts ever since I remember. I’ve drawn since I was 5-6 years old, so Graphic Design was a natural choice for me.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?
Working as a barista while working on my undergrad was the hardest job ever. I loved the environment, but the job itself was incredibly emotionally and physically demanding, especially during peak hours. I have tremendous respect for people working in the service industry and hate bad tippers.
Were you born and raised in Montreal? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Montreal?
I was born and raised in Moscow and came to Canada about 12 years ago. I came for school and stayed for the job opportunities, Canadian niceness, and social security (#adulting).
What’s your current hood in Montreal and what’s the best/worst thing about it?
I live in the Plateau area which is the trademark Montreal neighborhood with its fairytale-like houses and iron stairs. I love the atmosphere of the neighborhood and the beautiful La Fontaine Park. However, this is one of the most expensive areas to rent in Montreal and the stairs can be a pain in the ass (especially, when moving).
What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?
I love synthpop and new wave as well as some proto-punk bands from the 60's. Nowadays, I listen to such a big variety of music, it's hard to pinpoint specific artists/genres. I hate repetitiveness and unoriginality, and artists who have basically become enterprises, never write their own songs and use sexuality as the main selling point (e.g. Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, etc.)
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
La Roux - "I'm Not Your Toy", Desire - "Under Your Spell", Christine and the Queens - "iT", LP - "Lost on You", Magnets ft. Lorde - "Disclosure", Nick Cave - "Where Do We Go but Nowhere", Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart", Bob Dylan - "Just Like a Woman", PJ Harvey - "Good Fortune", Soft Cell - “Say Hello Wave Goodbye” and everything by The Smiths.
Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?
Seinfeld and Friends are my all time favorites that I know by heart. Some of my recent favorites are Black Mirror and Westworld, both are flawlessly written and very original series.
Name some spots in Montreal that are good for a Tinder date.
I love speakeasies and Asian fusion restaurants, so Big in Japan, Restaurant Hà and Kinoya Izakaya would be among my top recommendations. For a day date, Botanical Gardens or La Fontaine park.
Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).
Bill Nye the Science Guy (not sure why).
Who’s your hero and where in Montreal would you take them out for a serious hang?
I am not sure whether or not she is my "hero", but I love Marina Abramovich and it would be incredibly interesting to take her to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and hear her take on the art there.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Zara, H&M, Simons, Club Monaco, Frank and Oak.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Areas out of the Island of Montreal - Laval, Longueuil, Westmount, Boucherville, etc.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Hiking. There are so many fantastic hiking spots in Montreal, but I rarely have the time to get in touch with nature.
Where do you go in Montreal for a casual night out?
Food and movies are my top choices. Montreal has so many awesome bars and restaurant, you can discover a new spot every week. The only better place for foodies that I've been to is probably New York City.
Where would you go in Montreal to celebrate some freaking good news?
Depends on how good :) My go-to bar is The Distillery, it's close to my house and the drinks are always amazing. Plus they constantly change their drink menu so there is always something new to try.
What’s your choice of transportation in Montreal and why?
Walking, bicycling and Uber. There is also an electric car taxi service called Téo. I wouldn't recommend driving in Montreal unless you absolutely have to, the roads are terrible and constantly under construction. Montreal's construction is a popular subject of local jokes.
What are the Montreal spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
As obvious as it sounds, The Great Park with a beautiful panoramic view of the city, Botanical Gardens and Biodome and the Old Port with its view of Habitat 67 and post-apocalyptic charm of Silos à Grains.
What are the Montreal spots tourists should run from screaming?
Montreal streets can get really crowded in the summer. I would avoid some areas of the Old Port and festival areas. Festivals can be good and bad at the same time. I've had some good experiences at Osheaga, however, getting off the Saint Helen's Island after the shows were over was an absolute nightmare. Getting around francophone parts of town might also be challenging if you don't speak French. Generally, the further to the East, the less likely people are to understand English.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Montreal. How do you spend it?
I would go to the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, get Korean food at Ganadara and have some drinks at The Distillery.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
I love New York City, that city has my heart. Central Park is my favorite place in the whole world.