I was definitely surprised how green the city appeared when we first arrived. We are limited to the Northern suburbs (away from the violence of the downtown areas) with green hills across the skyline. No smog. No concrete jungle.
First impressions can be hard to report so long after the fact. Devoid of context, they are just supposed to be gut reactions to what you first see around you. A couple of months have gone by, so now I have filters…but maybe a few of my first photos will help bring it all back. So, here are a few photographic first glimpses:
This one was a bit freaky. I don’t like guns. I don’t like the thought that ammunition is being advertised like pizza. Either side of the same highway, other signs advertise security companies, security guard services and life insurance. Not a pretty picture.
…signs like this for example.
While on the subject of signage, municipal signage in Kingston is in a terrible state of repair, something which we very much noticed as newbies trying to navigate the streets. Often the green and white signs were so worn they were unreadable. Unless they were sponsored, of course. Many signs like this sponsored by Burger King or any host of other commercial companies were on the main streets. They are sort of a mixture of ugly advertising, comical and happy and fun, all at the same time.
Jamaican colours popped up on every street corner as painted fences, colour schemes for buildings, patriotic art, or just street gully decoration like this.
Corrugated tin fencing is everywhere in poorer areas. Huge rain gullys prevent flooding when heavy rains come. Later we did see them running with torrents of water, but when we first arrived the city was in its second year of drought and desperately dry.
Driving around the city for the first time, Kingston does feel like a large island. We wove our way through narrow suburban streets to get to the other side of town, there is very little in the way of multi-story buildings or a city business center. And there’s so much to learn about a place I know nothing about…so watch this space!