I have no idea where I shot this Jeep Cherokee. Red Hook? Williamsburg? Maybe one or two of you budding location scouts could troll around the Brooklyn map in street view mode and find it for me. UPDATE!! Location has been found. This was shot on Van Dyke Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn. Thanks to Lisbeth Salander for hacking into my metadata!
It’s been said that the Jeep Cherokee gave rise to US automakers designing more SUV’s. I wish they would have taken their inspiration from the stylish, original Land Rovers. Jeeps were supposed to be true utility vehicles, not style-icons but this one certainly looks cool with it’s blacked-out-for-stealth purposes. Sort of like a post-apocalyptic vehicle that runs on Willie Nelson‘s marijuana stash.
It is easy to see why I like this setting in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The fantastic green color from the fence and doors to the dark blue of this 1976 Mercury Cougar XR-7. The building behind the car houses the Red Hook Neighborhood School mostly for kids from the nearby housing project. During the 90′s LIFE magazine named Red Hook one of the worst neighborhoods in America. Now it has an Ikea which as you know is the yardstick by which all neighborhoods are measured. Either that or having your neighborhood depicted in Grand Theft Auto IV (renamed “East Hook” in the popular video game.)
I take a lot of photographs in this half-residential, half-industrial neighborhood and usually stop by Fort Defiance restaurant for a sandwich. They once broke my heart when I was denied a reverse-engineered Central Grocery-style muffuletta. Got there too late! They also make great cocktails and use perfectly shaped KOLD-DRAFT® ice cubes. Leave it to Brooklyn to fetishize ice.
Interesting note: Red Hook was the setting for the Marlon Brando movie, On The Waterfront although it was filmed in Hoboken, NJ. In that film you can see the ill-fated Andrea Doria cruising down the Hudson River. Another famous ship, the Queen Mary 2 docks in Red Hook. So there.
This car seemed to be saying, “Look at my tone-on-tone color scheme and matching tan house!” I walked toward it to get a closer look when I noticed a group of men playing cards behind the fake-grass covered fence. A young guy jumped up as I eyed the car. He didn’t look too happy. I was explaining to him that I was a photographer and like to take pictures of cars on the street, when an older gentlemen stood up from the card table and walked over. I could tell right away that he was the boss, and I told him I liked the car. “It’s mine and I have another in the back,” he said, and led me to the gate where he kept a sleek black 60′s era Cadillac hidden under a tarp. “You should shoot this one.” Upon hearing that I immediately had a flashback to the movie Goodfellas where the Robert De Niro character tries to get his friend’s wife to enter a building all alone. Did he really want to shoot me? I was relieved when he gave me permission to shoot the Eldorado. I thanked him and vowed to bring him a print next time I was in the area.