New Brunswick

I've spent the last couple of February weeks driving around New Brunswick, which means that at least 20% of that time I was looking at this:

Exciting, no? There were definitely exceptions - the hilly and charming Moncton downtown, the poorly named but picturesque village of Doaktown, the span of Centennial Bridge over the Miramichi River. And out on the frost-heaved route 117 to Escuminac Point, New Brunswick definitely came through for me.

I particularly liked this boarded-up house sitting at the side of the road.

What surprises me most are the visible patches of green. I don't remember seeing any green in New Brunswick, but it's clearly in the photos. How much green did I miss? Not to mention: what else did I miss? Or even: how much am I missing every day? What gulf of perception does that patch of still-green grass signify?

Instead of pondering what-all my eyes elide, I'm going to show you this defunct grocery store.

This store (the Ep Uy Grocerie? I'm betting that "Ep-" is the start of "Epicerie," but I'm stymied by the "-uy") is located about 15 miles or so down the road from the boarded-up house in the town of Baie Ste Anne, a Francophone town on route 117 that produces tragedy, fishermen and oil pipeline workers. Its harbour allows passage onto the nasty Northumberland Strait, which is liberally specked with shoals, sandbars, rocks and difficult currents.

Baie Ste Anne also produced Canadian and British Empire boxing champion Yvon Durelle, who had his heyday in the 1950s. He now lives about a mile or so from this abandoned grocery store, playing the VLT machines at the Super Decker Cafe next to his house.

The Super Decker has some good fried clams.