Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rooms on Film: The Strain (Dutch's Loft)

The Strain is having a much improved second season and in honor of that I'd like to profile a Season 1 set that was pretty cool: Dutch Velder's Gowanus, Brooklyn loft. It's no secret that S1 Dutch needed to be offed. Other than creating the internet blackout of NYC, she was beyond useless. She couldn't even call off the hack and restore internet access once she realized she'd abetted a vampire invasion. However, S2 Dutch - mere weeks older than S1 Dutch - has learned to fight and weld and look on the bright side. No more curling up behind a gas station toilet with a bottle of vodka while vampire's tear the roof off the building...

Shall we?

UPDATE: Naturally, the day this post goes up the show goes and airs a new scene at Dutch's apartment. So, I'm gonna liberally add more images rather than rewrite the post. It doesn't change anything. The one thing I'd like to have seen more of - in daylight - was that green wall that leads to the roommate's bedroom. But, alas...
rooftop view of gowanus neighborhood, brooklyn
Gowanus is an area of Brooklyn that was built into an industrial zone in the late 19th century, following the creation of the Gowanus Canal. The original area included new housing for workers within walking distance of the factories. So, now it has lots of what used to be industrial space that was rezoned for residential. It's current state makes for entertaining reading if you're ever inclined to websearch it. Suffice to say, Dutch here operates on the gray margins of the economy as a high-dollar computer hacker. I doubt she's paying a premium rent in this rundown neighborhood, but neither is she broke.

by day and night: exterior of dutch's building on 9th street
we'll assume things are going downhill slowly since someone is still putting the trash to the curb outside
it somehow feels appropriate that dutch's apartment number is 13
Typical of NYC apartments, the front door opens just off the kitchen, in a narrow hallway. The set design emphasizes the industrial theme of the actual neighborhood, using things like large restaurant baker's racks and steel shelving. The kitchen itself is a tiny galley open on the main living area. In true loft style, the livingroom is two stories, sharing the same ceiling as the upstairs bedroom on one side and the upstairs lounge on the other side.  
exactly the hodgepodge you'd expect of a place like this
bird's eye view: the main floor viewed from the upper level
looks like the bathroom is under the staircase
From the kitchen we view the livingroom, which is chock full of what seems to be thrifted goods. Some items look like custom artist cast offs. Not saying some of that ugly crap couldn't sell for money... to a singularly "eclectic/eccentric" clientele. This city is certainly big enough for all ranges of taste.

the doorway leads to a bedroom, the stairs lead up to the lounge
The far corner of the livingroom is also Dutch's workspace, full of a conspicuous number of computers. At this point in the story, it's a wonder the FBI hasn't come to question her about this ongoing internet blackout. They certainly who the hackers are and where to find them. Anyway, I respect that rug and the leather club chairs. Some attempt at homey-ness...

an outlaw's version of live/work space in the new economy
maybe this is nicki's art all over the place

dutch's desk is a very nice vintage piece
The lower bedroom belongs to Dutch's roommate/ex-lover, Nicki. A girl with the nerve to run a gauntlet of vampires and get through. It is seen only in Dutch's frantic search for her missing moneyroll. Looks like Nicki's an artist of various media.

great vintage vanity, the mirror is amazing
Across the loft is the staircase that leads up to Dutch's bedroom. It's actually pretty tidy and homey. Very old world but for that collection of plastic figures. The stainglass window is a wonderful perk of the apartment.

things seem homier in the light of day
truly eclectic decor: vintage, modern and...dolls
And then there's the lounge which overlooks the main living area. Below it is an accent wall of acid green and some stainglass windows that shine in on the lower bedroom. Clearly another art workspace, judging by all the tubes of paint.

view from the lofted lounge
art workspace under the lofted lounge, interior stainglass windows
upstairs seating area: full of candles and old furniture
mish mash of curtains and saris hanging in front of the windows
Dutch's loft isn't all that different from their current holdout, Vasiliy Fet's loft in Red Hook. But his has more emphasis on gates, grills and things that make cage-like rooms. But it is - slightly - more feminine, and far sunnier. 

So, that's another New York story.

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