Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stuff Portland Mainers Like! - Coexist Bumper Stickers

I'm a relatively new transplant to Portland, Maine. I've lived for several years each in Southern NH, Boston (Massachusetts), and briefly (less than a year or two) in Central New York (the state, not the city), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Minot (North Dakota) and the panhandle area of Florida. Sheesh. That's a lotta places in the US. No west coast though. Hmmm.

But in any case, I moved to Portland (again Maine, not Oregon) a few months ago, and since then I've noticed a few things that seem unique to the area. Little quirks and habits of Portland Mainers (and perhaps Mainers in general, though I haven't traveled around the state enough to know) that I find funny, bizarre, or just darn wonderful!

So here's "Stuff Portland Mainers Like" #1! Coexist bumper stickers.

That's right. Those Coexist bumper stickers where the letters are all made up of different symbols: Islam, Peace, Male/Female, Judaism, Pagan and Bah'ai, Taoism, and Christianity.

They come from, a company in California, just in case you were wondering. Now I know that some people find these stickers smug and obnoxious ("Yeah, it's easy enough to have a bumper sticker that says 'coexist,' but that's not gonna help anyone in the REAL WORLD!") but now I kinda think that they're a nice way to show that you respect other people's beliefs. A way of saying, "you can be you, and I can be me, and that's cool."

I also prefer the Muppets' version of the "Coexist" thinking, which is "Why can't we be friends?"

I noticed this variation on an electrician's truck recently. Apparently this version was special ordered by the Portland, Maine Habitat for Humanity (I guess they noticed Portlanders love of Coexist stickers too) for their Interfaith House project, bringing people of different faiths together to build a green (green as in environmentally efficient, not the color) building. How cool is that? It's a really nice introduction to the kind people of Portland, Maine!

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