“I’ve found, I think, pride, a little bit, in Baltimore, by going to these areas that not many people would necessarily know.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Eta
- Car in Question: 2008 Ford Focus
- Spotted at: The Maryland Zoo, Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD 21217
- Odometer: 21,583
- Car’s Nickname: Blue Lighting
Q: Where are you from, Eta?
A: Originally from American Samoa, but for now, I’m from Baltimore. You think Baltimore’s roads are bad? Samoa’s are horrible.
Q: What’s your car’s nickname?
A: I’m going to go with Blue Lightning because I don’t really believe in assigning inanimate objects a person’s name. So it has to be something that’s very evidently an object.
Q: Would you ever name a dog a person’s name?
A: No. No. My other dog’s name was Bababuoy, so that wasn’t really a person’s name. It’s a Howard Stern reference.
Q: Do you have an affection for where we are today, Druid Hill Park?
A: Yes, I actually really do like getting out into nature. Before moving to Baltimore, a lot of people have the stereotypes of Baltimore being this place that’s very scary and that there’s nowhere really that you can go to. But I’ve found, I think, pride, a little bit, in Baltimore by going to these areas that not many people would necessarily know coming in and finding the beauty in every place that I go. Here, that’s the beauty for me.
Q: How long have you owned your car?
A: For about six months.
Q: How’s it driving?
A: It’s driving really well. The car that I had before died on me, so my family is very relieved that it’s a car that’s pretty reliable and can get me places. Particularly because they have an image of Baltimore that’s not necessarily the image that I have of Baltimore. They’re very relieved for me to have a reliable car, as opposed to the car that I was driving before—which we will not go into.
Q: We won’t? You can’t be pressed into that?
A: No. That car was a ’99, and it was very old. It cost more to fix it than to actually buy the car.
Q: And you had no emotional attachment to that car?
Q: Don’t you ever get attached to a car, or feel safer when you get in your car, like when you lock the doors, aren’t you like, thank you, car, for providing this safe space to me?
A: I’m like, thank you, me. But I am glad because I know that going into a neighborhood that’s not necessarily favorable, I’ll be safe in this car. In the other car, it was a little dodgy. I was saying my prayers quite readily. God hasn’t heard me saying my prayers as much now, which may not be a great thing. I generally feel safer with this car.
Q: What’s your car’s main use?
A: For work. I’m in school right now, but I’m also going to be working with adolescents through my externship, and I also work at the clinic. On the weekends, though, it does function as a form of pleasure.
Q: Something positive about your car!
A: It’s functional. It’s good. It gets me to the places I want to go, like Druid Hill Park. On the weekends, I like to have that mobility. I remember when my last car was dead—not having the option to go was so hard for me. This car has been very reliable.
Q: If your car had a human attribute, what would it be? You can’t say reliable. That’s out, as are all the synonyms.
A: I would say stylish. My last car I wouldn’t describe as stylish.
Q: You won’t describe it at all.
A: That’s true.
Q: What’s your favorite day trip?
A: After Mass, I’ll go to Wegmans. Shout out to Wegmans! That’s my routine on Sundays, to go there and wander around. Or I like to play golf. I’ll go to Hereford. I just go and hit balls and stuff like that. It’s my time away.
Photos and interview by Jenn Ladd
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