City Life Snapshot: A.J. Auto Accessories

We meet David Ortiz at A.J. Auto Accessories in Chicago. As part of the NPR Cities Project, we'll be hearing "City Life Snapshots" from time to time, sent to us by producers from the Association of Independents in Radio who are involved in its nationwide Localore initiative. This snapshot comes from the Curious City project at member station WBEZ.

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DAVID ORTIZ: This is A.J. Auto Accessories. You people are welcome any time you want.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A different take on car culture now in this City Life Snapshot.

ORTIZ: My name is David Ortiz. And we're located in the Discount Mall in Chicago, Illinois, a little village. We sell plenty of accessories for the exterior of any vehicle, trucks mostly. It's like around here in this area, it's a lot of pickup trucks. I guess since it's more of an Hispanic area, we kind of like pickup trucks the most and SUVs, 'cause they're bigger. And in some other neighborhoods, they like small cars. Like, in the north side, it's a lot of cars.

These are shift knobs. If you don't like the look of your stick shift, you can always take it off and exchange it to any of these: a skull, golden skull, and then we've got the ones with the LEDs in them. And, of course, the neon - neon lights inside.

(SOUNDBITE OF FLIPPING PAGES)

ORTIZ: This is the windows tint. Customers use this to tint their windows, to make them more darker.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD: (Foreign language spoken)

ORTIZ: This is the fabric they use to fix their ceiling inside the trucks. There's people that be dropping off from 100 to basically $2,000 in one visit. Sometimes it gets pretty insane how people be willing to spend that much money on their trucks and cars. So, be good for us, yeah. And good for them 'cause we're happy they're happy. So yeah, I guess it works both ways.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

SIEGEL: Thanks to Jennifer Brandel and WBEZ for that City Life Snapshot. Jennifer is part of Local Lore, a national initiative from the Association of Independence in Radio. We'll be back with more on cars in cities in the Cities Project next week.

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