My sister and I were going to debate this together in front of other family members earlier this year. The plan was to have a vote to see who won. Of course, I would have, I don’t doubt that for a second. And if you don’t agree, “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, you’re opinion man” (The Dude from The Big Lebowski). You see the reason I’d win is because I chose the clear winner in this particular debate: Saint John.
So in honour of New Brunswick Day, I thought I’d share with you my side. Here’s why the port city is better:
- Skyline. When you see the skyline of Saint John, it’s a quaint little city that has that familiar look of the little towns you see throughout the Martimes and Quebec. Beautiful historic buildings jutting up, but not too high (lest they be like the obnoxious metropolises). In the centre is a tall but dignified steeple, standing watch over the rest. There’s also usually a view of the beautiful ocean. Moncton’s skyline also has a tall structure standing over the buildings of the skyline. But it’s not a steeple. It’s a gigantic, cement telephone poll. Looking at Moncton’s skyline you get the feeling that the city is giving you the finger!
- Senses assaulted? Ok, so people like to say the Saint John stinks, specifically because of the pulp and paper mill. I will agree that the odour that place emits can be like old great uncle Leo’s room-clearing air biscuits that he lets squeak out during Thanksgiving dinner. However, I travel all over that city on a weekly basis and only catch a whiff of that eye-watering odour every once in awhile. Meanwhile, in Moncton, one’s senses get assaulted every freaking day! Only it’s not the sense of smell, but sight. In contrast to the beautiful ocean blue that snuggles up to the port city, Moncton has a mud river. And, yes, call it the “chocolate river” all you like, it doesn’t change what we all know is really there. It looks like the city is being strangled by a giant sewage python. And interestingly, it kinda stinks some days. Hmmmmm.
- Nickname. What is Saint John known as? Usually it’s called either the Port City or the Loyalist City. Moncton is the “Hub of the Maritimes.” So SJ is a city on the ocean with big, beautiful ships, and people who left the US because they didn’t want to turn into Americans. And Moncton is Nova Scotia’s and PEI’s favourite pit stop. Nice.
- Hockey Teams. First of all, dogs are better than cats (no offense Anya and Twila, our two cats who read my blog weekly). Second, though the Cats have won the Presidents Cup more than once, they continue to choke afterwards when heading west for the Memorial Cup. Saint John? They win the President’s Cup, travel to Ontario, eat those teams for breakfast, pick up the dang Memorial trophy, sip some champagne from it and call it a day.
- The Road-Rage-O-Meter. When I’m in Moncton, I get stuck in unending traffic. In Saint John, I rarely do. Now THAT is the most persuasive argument yet!
Your move, sister.
Congratulations, Collateral. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actress: Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained.
Best Actor: Kerry Washington as Broomhilda von Shaft in Django Unchained.
Best Quote: “Every now and then, the hearts, minds, and wallets of the city’s officials open simultaneously. And when that happens, every now and then, the city is a better place for it.” — Robert Downey, Jr. as Steve Lopez in The Soloist.
So as it turns out, New Brunswick was almost called “New Ireland.” That’s the name, according to Wikipedia, that people in this province were asking for but King George III chose “New Brunswick” instead. Probably after himself as he was the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneberg. Those leotards-and-curly-white-wig Brits back then were full of themselves.
Happy NB Day everyone.