A huge bare modern atrium, tiled in shades of caramel and brown, fake wood panelling and escalators disappearing down tubular, Beaubourg-style shafts, all the signs ("arretez!" "pas ici" "billets") in a neat sans-serif -- when you arrive at Montreal's Central Station, there's no mistaking where you are. You're in 1982.

All the signs are there, from the eight-booth, seven-closed, ticket desk of the national rail system, the sluggish departures board, the limited dining options, and above all, the sans-serif. Every sign, every direction appears to be a series of bop versions on Helvetica and Gill Sans. Every streamlined all-lower-case word screams the future. Sorry, le futur. What could be more forward-looking, than stripping letters of their aged curlicues? A bas les curlicues! The place looks like a sci-fi movie on late night TV, and you expect people in leotards and silver foil helmets to stalk in at any moment.