Sunday, March 4, 2012

What Color is Old North Davis? (120)


A human social organization, such as a nation or a neighborhood, is a blank abstraction. Each invites, if not demands, elaboration.

Among elaborations are the colors by which it is to be known. For example, a nation may lay claim to a color palette such as red, white, and blue. Or, a school may boast, say, blue and gold.

The principle extends to neighborhoods. Thus, we might ask: What color (or colors) is the Old North?

This question moves from the theoretical to the practical whenever anyone undertakes to write in the name of “Old North Davis.”

At the very least, such writing must be executed on something that has a color and the writing has to be in a color. Of course, the “default” setting is black and white.
But we know that virtually all human social organizations quickly move beyond black and white.

In the case of the Old North, the first important color choices seem to have been made by the deviser of the initial website of the Old North Neighborhood Association.*

A page from the original website is reproduced in Image 1. Using the colors commonly associated with the four seasons of the year, I would say the colors there are “fall” or “harvest’ in character.  

The person who created that first ONDA site destroyed it when he left the organization and another person devised a new site. A page from that second site is shown in Image 2. It, also, features “harvest” or “fall” colors.

In that same period, I developed a website on the history of the Old North and I used the winter colors of black and red, drawing from my Old North Davis (Image 3).

But after a while, I had second thoughts and revised the site with a harvest motif, which is seen in image 4.

This is all background to explaining the change of color motif I recently made in this blog, Old North Davis Chat. As is obvious, I have moved from a blue/red palette to a set of “harvest” colors. This is in line with the practices I have just described.

This history understood, let me also say that I do not see any compelling reason why Old North colors should be “harvest.” There are, after all, at minimum, three other seasons of the year: spring, summer, and winter.

Why not colors associated with one of those seasons?

Or, why not colors attuned to some other principle altogether?

* The ONDNA is not the Old North itself, of course, but by acting in the name of the ‘hood, the ONDA laid a claim to defining Old North colors.