The Same, Only Different

September 21, 2008

Saint John, New Brunswick, where E.g. grew up, has a number of serious industries. There’s an oil refinery, a pulp-and-paper mill, a port. As you can see from this shot of the harbour,


the business and industrial buildings are the usual sober colours. Nature repeats this aspect


with great swatches of green, much of it constant all year in the form of cedars and other evergreens.

Except for uptown — where brick has been the rule in all new buildings since the Great Fire of 1877 — the houses, too, have a certain regularity, in that for the most part their exteriors are of horizontal siding. But there the resemblance ends. The citizens of Saint John assert their individuality by a method at once┬ásubtle and striking:


Paint.


From a light salmon mousse cottage…


…to a cobalt-blue post-war house…


…to a larger home that likes to pretend it’s a brick building, each home identifies itself at a glance.

Even a number of the churches have siding exteriors,


perhaps in a green of a meditative shade…


…or possibly a more eye-catching tint.

In this way, the people of this city can stand tall in their group identity as Saint Johners, and smile with twinkling eyes as being each one their own person.