I spotted this daily-driver looking old Dodge some weeks back out by the Hudson on the way to the NY Auto Show and loved just how pretty it looked partially in shadow, parked in a big industrial setting. A week or so later I found the same car parked next to the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn along a long block that often sees old cars waiting to be serviced at the local garage. It made me think that cars can be tools to trace the migration of distinct personality types, markers that point out where certain social groups travel. Finding the old Dodge made me think of the cool, minimalist driver who went for the nerd-cool of a brown four-door sedan over a shouty two door muscle car. I’ve been able to trace a few old car routes in and out of Manhattan and Brooklyn and I now believe that there are not just similar routes of travel, but similar destinations as well. There must be neighborhoods where 1960s Dodges come together and live out their old age. By the same token, there are likely suburbs where one can find Lexuses and Infinitis residing in little automotive communities.
It is strange, perhaps, to anthropomorphize automobiles and think of them like birds or fish, flocking and travelling together, but it can be a wonderful analytic tool, and at the very least, a charming diversion.