Saturday, September 08, 2007

Woodward Dream Cruise - Detroit, August 2007

Well we are all familiar with the phrase "when in Rome, do what the Romans do" I really try to take that to heart whenever I travel anywhere. This has led me to fun festivals and different local experiences all over the world, as well as a deeper understanding of the community that I am visiting. Which takes to my recent trip to Detroit, Michigan.

Whats the first thing people think of when they hear Detroit? Cars! Yes, the good old American car. So on a recent journey to visit my friend Paula, who lives there, I planned it to coincide, for the second year in a row, with the Woodward Dream Cruise, the largest classic car cruise in the world!

First off, many of you are probably like me, and you may not know much about the classic car show and cruise scene. People drive (or ship) their beautifully refurbished cars to show and share with others. You have probably seen parking lots filled with car shows, but chances are you have never experienced anything like the Dream Cruise.

It goes like this. Woodward Avenue is the main drag from Detroit to the outer suburbs and once a year it fills from Detroit to Pontiac with every imaginable classic car and plenty of theme cars too. 40,000 classic cars cruise up and down the 16 mile stretch, while crowds line the roads to watch. In between cruising, the owners park their cars so that others can come check them out. Businesses set up party tents. Parking lots are filled with bands. Car loving fans set up chairs along the roadside and folks like me walk for miles watching and enjoying some good old American fun.

Its time in this write up to add the disclaimer that I don't have a car and feel
pretty darn proud about it. I worry about our gas-guzzling society and wonder how much fossil fuel use is contributing to the wacky weather we are having these days. That being said after my trip to Cuba, I fell in love with the classic American car. I love their curves, their grace, their colors. I love the romance of the 50's and big bucket seats. I love the personal historical memory that is stirred when I see a Nova or Mustang. I'm constantly hunting for clues of what it means to be an American and these cars are part of it. They represent the freedom of the road. To me the Woodward Dream Cruise transports me to places I've learned about.

1 comment:

JA Huber said...

Glad you had a great time! Fabulous photos, as usual.