You can recognize a single street corner from a car that you took a picture of three years go.
So here I am watching Pootie Tang for the umpteenth time because, hey, why not. And I notice that Wanda Sykes has been standing in front of a metal gate in front of a lot that looks kind of familiar. Have I seen it before? Nah. There must be millions of metal gates in New York City, there's no way I'd recognize one in particular. I must be crazy.
But then comes this scene, with two leering men pulling up in front of her in an old body-on-frame GM sedan, and suddenly it hits me.
I recognize that driveway!
And wait, I recognize that bridge! And those buildings in the background!
I've been there before.
It was nearly three years ago, March 2011. I stopped to shoot a 1985 Buick Regal in front of that very lot, taking a pause to try and fit the car in the frame with the yellow 'driveway' lettering.
I ended up getting into an extended conversation with the owner. His English wasn't great, but he loved the car, spoke about how easy it was to work on, and how normal it all seemed to him. There he is in the background of this picture, right by that now-tagged metal gate.
Sure the GM sedans have changed a bit, and the Williamsburg Bridge is painted a different color now, and you'd probably never find any hookers hanging out on that block these days, but it's the same corner, and I picked it out from all the corners in NYC.
Maybe I need to spend less time shooting cars.