New Brunswick

Saint John's most irresistible, weirdly coloured selfie location

It’s been described as “electric lime,” “alien-coloured” and “glow-in-the-dark.”

It’s officially a ‘thing’

Dozens of Saint Johners have gotten in on the trend, which now has its own Facebook group. (Facebook)

It's been described as "electric lime," "alien-coloured" and "glow-in-the-dark."

The floor-to-ceiling green bathroom, familiar to those heeding the call of nature after an evening of $10 triple-tequilas and award-winning margaritas at Saint John restaurant Taco Pica, is definitely distinctive.

While intense green isn't the most flattering colour on everyone, the facilities do have a certain je ne sais quoi. It's fast becoming one of the most popular selfie spots in Saint John — so popular, in fact, that last week a Facebook group created to celebrate the genre has racked up more than 150 likes and dozens of photos in under seven days.

Jennifer Megeney, 38, started the group, Taco Pica Green Bathroom Selfies, at a friend's suggestion.

Taco Pica Green Bathroom Selfies founder Jennifer Megeney. (Submitted by Jennifer Megeney)

"I agreed it would be really neat to see all the pictures in one place," she said. "I realized how hideous it was and also hilarious to see people embracing it and making it a thing."

'No great art is appreciated in its time'

The origins of the trend have proven elusive, but one of the earliest known adopters is Saint Johner Kelly Morrell, 25, who Instagrammed an early example of the genre in 2015 at a Valentine's Day concert featuring Jerry Faye Flatt, Jon Wilson, and Bad People.

"It was pure romance," Morrell said.

Although she thought the "alien green" colour was "interesting," the reaction on Instagram was tepid.

"A meagre 18 likes," she said. "But no great art is appreciated in its time."

The selfie that launched a thousand other selfies: Kelly Morell's 2015 Instagram shot was one of the earliest known examples of the genre. (Facebook)

Myriad selfie styles have been achieved in the bathroom — from broodingly serious, to group shots, to super-silly poses and even parodies.

Green isn't everyone's colour, as Drew Sweet can attest. (Facebook)
Crystal Drew, left, and Jerry-Faye Flatt, right, took a silly approach. (Facebook)

In the future, Megeney hopes to create photo albums based "on different things like Halloween photos or stupid hats."

Some, like Sean Boyer, think the green hue is perfect for Halloween. (Facebook)
Looks like Adam Kiersted was inspired by 2010 worlds-within-worlds sci-fi flick Inception. (Facebook)
The TPGB selfie has even inspired parodies, like this photo from Sid Foy titled "Selfie from last night." (Facebook)

There's something about the super-saturated verdant hue that tempers the awkwardness of mirror selfies.

"Selfies typically make me very uncomfortable, but there was just something about that alien green glow on my face," said Morrell.

Megeney concurs. "I'm not really a selfie person," she said. "But when I took the photo, I figured the colour distracted from anything I was self-conscious about that day."

Saint John band Wrote, from left to right, Dan Chamberlin, Erin Muir, and Geoffrey Smith, got in on the trend. (Facebook)

Not just a pretty green face

The photogenic bathroom is far from Taco Pica's only selling feature.

A Saint John institution for 23 years, the restaurant has received nods from Where to Eat in Canada and the Food Network for its traditional Guatemalan dishes sourced whenever possible with local ingredients.

For 23 years, owner Santos Ruyan has worked hard to make Taco Pica one of the most colourful restaurants in uptown Saint John. (Julia Wright / CBC)

Owner Santos Ruyan works seven days a week, hosting salsa dance nights, all-ages indie rock shows, and live music. The bathroom is just one component of a colorful decor, which leans heavily toward sombreros, plastic lizards, and Mayan-themed paintings.

"Taco Pica is an important part of the music community in Saint John and it's a fun environment with tasty food," Morrell said.  "I love seeing people having fun and being ridiculous, and it appears that [the green bathroom] has encouraged our oddball behaviour. "

While trends come and go, the green-screen ambience isn't likely to lose appeal anytime soon.

"Saint John is always doing weird and quirky things like this," Megeney said. "It's why I love it here."