Posts Tagged With: Canada

That time when I spent an epic night searching for karaoke in Montreal

The Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) has nothing to do with its namesake cathedral in Paris to which it bears a slight resemblance. It is, however, a beautiful and historically significant house of worship in its own right.

This post will differ from most others on this blog, in that it’s more in the style of a memoir telling a story – a story involving events that occurred all the way back in August 2010. I was making a weekend visit to Montreal, partly because I was interested to see that city for the first time but also partly because I had (to that point) sung in 17 countries and I felt it was about time that I karaoked in Canada. In fact, upon arriving at Montreal’s Pierre Trudeau International Airport, I joyfully declared to the immigration agent that the purpose of my trip was to add Canada to my World Karaoke Tour. 🙂 (He seemed a little confused, but allowed me to enter the country.) So this story is about whether, that weekend, I would succeed in my quest to karaoke in Canada for the first time.

By the time I got checked into my hotel in Montreal, it was late on Friday night (about 11 pm) and I was too tired to go out. So I took it easy. While I thought about looking for karaoke immediately, I decided that I could wait one more night for my initial singing appearance in the land of maple leaves. But would that initial appearance end up happening?

Pre-karaoke sightseeing

On Saturday, I started the day by riding the Metro to Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal), a historic district with some buildings dating back to the city’s early days in the 17th century. My first stop in Old Montreal was the Notre-Dame basilica, a beautiful church that looks a little like its Parisian namesake (although the two churches have nothing to do with each other). I wanted to have a look at the interior, but during that afternoon it was closed to the public because several weddings were being held inside. However, an employee told me that a son et lumière (sound and light) show was being offered inside the church in the evening. I bought a ticket for the 7 pm show; since the show was to last about 35 minutes, it would let out early enough to still allow me plenty of time to make it to karaoke later on that night. Continue reading

Categories: North America, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the brink of history: I’ve karaoked in 49 states, and no. 50 is imminent!

While transferring at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport en route to Fargo, North Dakota, I spotted the best luggage tag ever.

Since 1959, the U.S. has consisted of 50 states. This Saturday night, in Honolulu, Hawai’i, I’ll complete the achievement of having karaoked in all 50!

As recounted here, in 2017 I made great strides in my American Karaoke Tour (the domestic subset of my World Karaoke Tour). By year’s end, the number of U.S. states in which I’ve karaoked had soared from 28 to 42! Thus far in 2018, I’ve karaoked in 7 of the remaining 8 states – bringing my total to 49, with only Hawai’i remaining to be checked off. This is the story of how I got to 49 during the present calendar year. This post also covers a trio of new-to-me cities, in states that I’d previously karaoked in, in which I sang in 2018

One introductory note: for two of the states covered in this post, I lack karaoke videos to share with you. In early July, I discovered that at some point during the preceding few weeks, Facebook had deleted eight of my karaoke videos, without prior or subsequent notice to me and without explanation. All eight of the videos had originated as live Facebook video transmissions which I then saved to the “Timeline” on my Facebook page. (Four were originally broadcast from locations in the U.S., including cities in two of my “new states” that are discussed below; and the other quartet were originally broadcast from various European cities.) There was no valid reason for the removal of any of the videos, which were fully compliant with Facebook’s community standards. (If any record companies had objected to any of the videos on the grounds that the musical content – i.e., the underlying song – was copyrighted, Facebook’s written guidelines provide that I should have been given the opportunity to address such objections. But I was never notified of a challenge to a single one of the videos in question – which, notably, don’t generate revenue for me – and my complaints to Facebook were met with silence.) Moreover, because the deleted videos all originated as live transmissions rather than having originally been recorded as MP4 files, I didn’t have backups of them, so I’ve lost the priceless memories that the videos represent. (I’ve subsequently downloaded copies of all my remaining karaoke videos that are housed on Mark Zuckerberg’s site.) But you don’t care about any of this, because it’s not like you were even going to watch all 9 of the surviving videos that did make it into this post. 😀 So let’s talk about travel and karaoke!

1. Little Rock, Arkansas (March 2018)

In early March I travelled to Little Rock, the Arkansan capital. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton was from Arkansas, and he chose to build his Presidential library in Little Rock. Touring that library was high on my agenda for that city. While the facility contains copious historical information, my favourite feature was its exact replica of the White House’s Oval Office.

Me in the replica of the Oval Office at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock.

Karaoke in Little Rock

• Venue: Khalil’s Pub

• First song: “Just Can’t Get Enough” (originally recorded by Depeche Mode)

My song selection in Little Rock had nothing to do with that city or Arkansas. Continue reading

Categories: North America, travel, World Karaoke Tour | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

H-Bomb’s Friday Photo, Week 18: Montreal’s Notre-Dame

As I write this, a blizzard is pounding the northeastern United States, including my home city of New York. Perfect weather to sit indoors at my computer to bring you my latest Friday photo! Today’s image comes from the cosmopolitan city of Montreal in the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s a view of that city’s Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal).


This church has nothing to do with its namesake cathedral in Paris, to which it bears a slight resemblance. It is, however, a beautiful and historically significant building in its own right. Dedicated in 1829, it’s an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture.

This photo was taken during my visit to Montreal in August 2010. During that thoroughly enjoyable weekend jaunt, Canada became the 18th country on my World Karaoke Tour. But that’s ancient history, because I’m now up to 27 countries in which I’ve sung karaoke! Incidentally, my second Canadian singing appearance will come this June in Toronto; I’ll be in town for this year’s North American conference of the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX). If you’ll be at TBEX Toronto, I hope you’ll join me for a night of H-Bomb karaoke!

Go here to see my previous Friday photos!

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Categories: H-Bomb's Friday Photo, North America, travel | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

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