Great Dane

March 10, 2014 9:00 am

Jacob Holdt. Heard of him?

Hitchhiked 100,000 miles across the U.S. in the ’70s. Photographed gangsters, junkies and cross-burning Klansmen. Sold his blood plasma to buy film. Photos became an international phenomenon.

Now, you can see those photos in all their gonzo glory at Black Bear Bar, the upscale Williamsburg watering hole with Old Fashioneds on tap.

About Black Bear: aside from a Yelp blurb, this bar isn’t online.

It’s a commodious, gallery-like space decorated with motorcycles. And like its sister bars Lone Wolf and No Name, it’s off the grid by design.

But make the short trek to Williamsburg and you’ll find walls adorned with oversized prints of Holdt’s iconic images.

The vagabond-cum-documentarian captured each pic on a cheap pocket camera, revealing the seedy underbelly and widespread racism plaguing our country at the time.

All Holdt’s work is available online, but you can also find it collected in his epic book, American Pictures (an original edition is well worth the investment).

So go have a look. And a drink.


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.