But thinking back, thinking about all the places, the towns large and small, that I have visited I began to see that FENCES are one of the details about towns that give it its distinctive flavor. Fences reflect base cultures. The designs reflect the personalities of its inhabitants. They show how the town’s people relate to others, its neighbors and its visitors. Even no fences tells us something about the towns and its people.
Thursday, January 07, 2010
My Town Friday Shoot-out / Fences
This area of Brasil, the state of Rio de Janeiro, consists of mostly multi family housing. High rise apartments, converted buildings and apartments built above the commercial streets. There are small gardens or more basic entry areas that are usually fenced – some are ornamental, some barely functional.
In Friburgo, if you go out of the center area to barrios like Conégo or private condominiums like where we live, there are many versions of ‘privacy’ fences. These often have a second or even third function of providing an illusion of security and/or retainer walls holding back water or possible mudslides. If there is no need of a retainer wall then the fences of preference here are made of small cedar bushes or other flowering shrubs. What this ends up showing us is the need for privacy in an area where too many people live and the basic cultural habit of keeping family close and ‘others’ at arm length. From the roads houses are hidden, only the roof lines and the gates hint at the size or the wealth that may be hidden behind the fence.