Montreal’s 6 best spots for bisexual lighting
Where to bask in the beauty of Bisexual Lighting
What do Aeon Flux, Sense8 and Janelle Monae’s “Make Me Feel?” have in common? They all bathe beautiful people in a blessed trifecta of bisexual lighting. The term may be just this side of tongue-in-cheek – in short, it’s when someone or something is lit in the pink, blue and purple of the bisexual flag, with a neon boost – but the phenomenon is here, queer and flattering at every angle. And now that you know what it is, check out the best places to find it in Montreal this summer.
1. The Jacques-Cartier Bridge
For Montreal’s 375th anniversary, the city teamed up with Moment Factory to turn this historic bridge into its own living light show. The Montreal-based media company has produced shows for clients from Madonna to La Sagrada Familia, and “Living Connections” one is no less stunning. Fuelled by real-time social media use and data sets, the installation illuminates the landmark with pulsing strobes and pinpoints of azure, lilac, mauve and everything in between. Locals know the bridge is also the best spot to watch fireworks, including international competitions based at amusement park La Ronde (check out the park’s own Pride programming here).
2. Bleu Nuit Bar
Opened late last year by sister bar Idole (which has a seriously scandalous religious theme), Bleu Nuit shares a name with a beloved Quebecois softcore TV series all Canadians of a certain age know and love (it came on after X-Files if you adjusted the dial just right). Go for the magenta-soaked Art Deco decor, stay for the extensive rum selection and Caribbean cocktails. Also consider: Sky NightClub, Wunderbar
3. La Femme Fontaine restaurant
Tucked between Mile End, Little Italy and the elusive (possibly theoretical) Mile Ex neighbourhoods, this under-the-radar restaurant eschews easy labels and embraces eclectic art and people. Grab a table for a divine wine list, hot-weather essentials like ceviche and beet salad, and enough millennial-pink-hued corners for all your most smoldering affairs. (Bonus: Its name translates roughly into “fountain woman,” but is really an interesting French expression. Asking a cute Francophone local what it means is a great conversation starter.) Also consider: Agrikol, La Habanera
4. Never Apart gallery
Get some real live D in this LGBTQ-focused art hub’s Sun Room, a 2001:A Space Odyssey-style installation from artists Kelly Nunes and Adam Hummell. The seamless white pod contains both SAD lamps and an overhead LED “sun” that cycles through colours while you relax (or decide on the best shade for your selfie). Next, head downstairs to bask in the Sapphic glow of Diana in the Moon Room, where you can sit back in beanbag chairs and take in a soothing lunar projection. Never Apart is also a great bet all summer for thoughtful queer art, DJed parties and even a backyard pool (which doubles as a rippling surface for light-based works).
5. The MAC counter
Be the bisexual lighting you want to see in the world! While the seasoned team of make-up artists at MAC were confused when we first asked for BL-friendly cosmetics, after a quick explanation they were more than happy to point to which products will help you get a look that both sparkles and straddles several shades. A capable MUA should be able to help you out with their standard product line, but there are also a few palettes positively made for the movement. Some favourites: Patrickstarrr Floral Realness Full Face Kit, Nicopanda Full Face Kit, Qween Supreme Palette and most of the Mirage Noir line (right down to the shimmery packaging).
6. Netflix and Chilling
Sense8 and Black Mirror’s “San Junipero” are obvious choices when it comes to BL-rated TV, but for the crew that never met a lighting gel they didn’t like, we’ve got to hand it to the directors and DPs working on the deliciously ridiculous teen drama Riverdale. Whether watching Toni Topaz break Cheryl Blossom out of gay conversion therapy, or Papa Poutine and Mr. Lodge discuss business over Pop Tate’s, the Pantone-approved glow of your screen will give you the confidence you need to finally leave your AirBnB and hit that party you RSVPed to a month ago. (Right after the next episode. )