When I cross on the Rosemont/Van Horne overpass to Outremont, I always feel like I'm entering a different world. Down below, on one's bike during better weather, the change is less dramatic but still significant. The Mile End, with its boutiques and restos and young energy, is in the midst of gentrification. But this part of Outremont, close to the more industrial end of Van Horne, which then becomes a shopping street, is an enclave of Hasidic Jews. When I drive or bike on these streets I feel like time has gone backward, and that behind the hurried steps of the black-clad men and the women in black skirts and wigs with headbands or hats, often pushing old-fashioned baby carriages, lies a life about which I know almost nothing. I stop at Cheskies and buy a loaf of challah or some rugelach, but it is a commercial exchange, nothing more: ours are separate solitudes and will remain that way.