Lea Plourde Archer Untapped Cities

Every week, we highlight one of our 300+ Untapped Cities contributors worldwide. This week, we’re featuring Léa Plourde-Archer, an Untapped city correspondent based in Montreal.

What’s your “day job”?

When I’m not writing for Untapped Cities or for my blog, I work full time at a small family-owned grocery store in my neighborhood. You’ll generally find me in the backstore, whistling along to some old French tunes whilst I clean and prepare the fruits and vegetables so they can be beautifully displayed in the front.

What’s your favorite Untapped spot in your city?

The Belvedere, a gorgeous rooftop terrace located at the end of King Edward pier in the Old Port of Montreal. It used to be accessible to the public (though not many people knew about it). Currently, you must rent the reception hall underneath in order to have access to the terrace and its gorgeous view of the city and of the Saint-Lawrence river.

Favorite piece you’ve written for Untapped?

The sounds of Tokyo in the summer. Last August, I traveled to Japan for one month. I took time off from writing but kept notes and when I came back, I wrote a piece about one of the many striking aspects of Japanese urbanity: the street soundscape.

What’s your favorite Untapped place you’ve visited while traveling? Where do you want to visit next?

In Tokyo, I discovered two great, rather unknown spots to check out some interesting art exhibits: Espace Louis Vuitton, on the top floor of the Louis Vuitton store on Omotesando Dori and Tokyo Design Festa in Harajuku. Right now, I’m sifting through Untapped Cities articles in order to plan for my upcoming trip to Louisiana. I can’t wait to discover the best quirky places in NOLA!

What’s your favorite obscure fact about your city?

On a peaceful street in the largely residential neighborhood of Ahunstic sits a house, owned by the country of Iraq, which has been abandoned for over 20 years. The city of Montreal would like to recover access to the house but ongoing disputes in and out of court have kept that from being possible. There is no end in sight so the house just sits there, abandoned and marked by the time that has passed since it was last (legally) occupied. It is said that Saddam Hussein resided here a few times.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done?

So far I’d have to say that traveling alone was the craziest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve been to Europe twice all by myself and it was so liberating and life-changing!

Best Celebrity Sighting?

When I was working at the year-round Christmas store in Old Montreal, Denise Richards came in and did some shopping. She chose all her stuff, had it set aside and came back the next day to pay for it. Unfortunately, when she did, the store was full of American tourists, so she became visibly uncomfortable about being recognized and she ran out of the store before we had finished wrapping her purchases. I had to run after her in the street.

What are some of your favorite websites?

What are some of your favorite websites? I have so many varied interests, including crafting, food, world news, art and travel so here are a few websites I visit regularly: Dos Family, Bored Panda, TokyoFashion.com, Unique Guides, The Jealous Curator, Le Canal Auditif, Shut Up and Eat, and MTL Blog.

Get in touch with Léa @ModStoryteller and read her blog. Join our community of Untapped Cities contributors around the world by contacting us here.