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Cruising 101.


Make that Cruising M-1, M-3, or M-85, Detroit's main drags in the automotive sense. Car passion runs high in the Motor City, and five months of bad weather superconcentrate that enthusiasm during warm-weather months. No summer visit would be complete without witnessing this passion play. Protagonist drivers flex their mechanical muscle by revving oversize V-8 engines and burning rubber or gliding along in chrome and tail-finned behemoths, as uniformed antagonists write tickets for tire smoking and drag racing. Spectators line the avenue on lawn chairs to egg on the misbehavior. These testosterone rests are by no means reserved for straights; the 100-plus members of Detroit's Lambda Car Club chapter roll out their Caddys, Minis, and Maseratis (gay auto enthusiasm is nothing if not diverse), throw lavish parties in conjunction with the big organized cruise events, and host their own Thursday night cruise-ins throughout the summer (visit to tag along).

The three primary cruising venues are best known by their street names: Woodward (M-1), Gratiot (M-3), and Fort Street (M-85). Each is a major spoke emanating from downtown Detroit, but the best American Graffiti-style cruising takes place 10 miles out in the suburbs. Gratiot (pronounced "GRAY-shut") serves the eastern burbs; Fort Street the DownRiviera (southwest riverfront). Of the three big cruises Woodward is the "cruisiest"--especially during the week leading up to the Woodward Dream Cruise, which annually attracts a million-plus attendees, scheduled for August 16 this year. Grab an outdoor table in Ferndale's gayest pizza joint, Como's (22812 Woodward Ave.; 248548-5005), or stage a few miles north in Royal Oak at the gleaming '50s diner Athens Coney Island (32657 Woodward Ave.; 248-549-1488) and breathe in deep the automotive pheromones: tire smoke, gasoline, and sweat.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Detroit, Michigan
Author:Markus, Frank
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U3MI
Date:Apr 22, 2008
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