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« Detroit Moxie's Weekend Roundup | Main | The Heidelberg Project: Polka Dots Over Blight »

The Dream Cruise or Cruising to Nowhere

 The Woodward Dream Cruise is this Saturday, August 15th. Of course, if you live in Metro Detroit, you already knew that. This is the 15th year of this event that started as a small fundraiser to build a soccer field in Ferndale. Everything from classic old cars to muscle cars and street rods will be cruising up and down Woodward Avenue.

A classic cool car cruising down Woodward Avenue.Locals who live along the Woodward Corridor are the ones that are most affected by the influx of the one million plus visitors who will attend the event.

I have many friends who live near Woodward, whether in Berkley, Royal Oak, or Ferndale, who make a point to get out of town this weekend. They go “Up North,” to escape the traffic and congestion.

Luckily, I live a few miles west of Woodward and the congestion has never affected me. I can drive into Birmingham this weekend, park the car, and happily enjoy the cruise.

But, do you know what I can’t do? I can’t go have my new favorite omelet at The Flytrap in Ferndale. (It’s the blat+c, in case you were wondering.) It would be difficult to try and venture anywhere along Woodward this weekend. Yes, The Redcoat Tavern is off limits as well.

Why can’t I go to these lovely establishments? I won’t be able to get there. I’m actually ok with that; I can schedule my weekend around the event.

I quite like looking at the cool cars; they are what built this city. If you look at the definition of Detroit on the 3rd entry is the U.S. automobile industry. And we all know what troubles they have been having recently.

A custom truck, complete with flames.So, is it really that difficult to change our schedules around a bit or take an alternate route and embrace the event? I’m getting kind of sick of everyone complaining about it.

The people who will be lining up on Woodward to watch the cars go rolling by are gearheads. These are the people, I assume, who are most likely to buy American cars. These people are going to be pumping lots of money into our local economy by going to the establishments that I can't get to.

And for that, I’ll happily stay close to home and avoid Woodward for a few days. I’ll be cruising to nowhere.

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Reader Comments (12)

It was even tough to park for Tweetea last night. I guess they had a special kids cruise or something in downtown Royal Oak. Fun times... If you like traffic jams this is the place to be!

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Favreau

I always found many Detroiters interesting in how they really rebel against ANY impediment in traffic.

There was a time when the Grand Prix was downtown - and what did everyone do? Complain.. when other cities KILLED for downtown grand prixs, and in everywhere else but Detroit the apartments along F1 race courses would fetch much, much more money because of the event. Not here.

I think it's great to have these kinds of events that bring folks together and bring business and notoriety to the community.. and maybe walk a block or deal with a little parking (by the way, when in Royal Oak, I ALWAYS go to that garage on Center street. $3, less than a block away from Tweetea, and never have to worry about a ticket). It's one weekend. :-)

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeremiah Staes

The cruise brings in a lot of money to the area. It is great publicity for the area. Buck up people! It is just a weekend (or that plus a few days).

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternan_cymk

The Dream Cruise is one of the few events that gets non-Michiganders into our fair state. Anything that leads to increased tourism and interest in the Detroit are is alright in my book, even if it means my commute to clients is made more frustrating for a few days a year.

I haven't been at cruise night in years. But it is a fun event that is good for businesses.

August 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterWingsStef

I agree with you and the others who have commented on this post. The cruise is a great reason for many people to come to Detroit metro and to bring their money with them. As a gearhead myself, I plan on spending most of the weekend on Woodward admiring other people's hard work on their hot rods. The traffic issue is a temporary nuisance and will soon be over. I would rather have terrible traffic (Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles) than no traffic and a struggling area, which we have here in Detroit. I feel that it has somehow become cool to complain about the cruise even though, like you have stated, the people who attend the cruise are probably the most likely to buy American cars that are built here in the area. I welcome them to the area with open arms and hope they stay awhile and spend some money.

I too love the BLAT+C omelette at FlyTrap, and enjoy it whenever I can spare the time on a weekend morning to drive over there. You should try the sandwich version with french fries, also very good. Also, I would assume that Red Coat would be busy even if they placed it on the moon! However, the burgers are always worth the wait. Great post, I definitely agree this had to be said.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBenjamin Wilcox

There are never traffic jams when you ride a bicycle. Traffic jams are such a waste of energy. I wonder how many hundreds of gallons will be used up by cars idling on Woodward, their drivers eagerly waiting to... wait some more.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Joerges

I only live 2 blocks off Woodward (at the quieter southern end) and I'll have to say I love the Dream Cruise. Our little local community puts on a " bash" the Friday before which is great fun. I feel invigorated by the hub bub...there's something wonderful about lots of people coming together and enjoying something they love. I am not bothered at all by the inconvenience of using alternative travel routes, listening to all the "noise" when I'm trying to fall asleep or missing out on my favorite Fly Trap (yes I love them too!) breakfast. I say bring it on!!!

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

We had just moved from Southern CA to Ferndale right during the Dream Cruise last year, and had a great laugh when people complained about the "traffic." The excess cars hardly qualified as a jam in my estimation. Detroit is a driving town with big roads everywhere and at least 38 different ways to get where you want to go. The Metro area only benefits from all of the out of towners and the money they bring with them.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMax

I think of it like a big snowstorm: messy, costly, inconvenient, a bit dangerous - but also rare, exciting and beautiful. We're still the Motor City - take time to stop and smell the exhaust.

August 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Cusulas

Thank you all for popping in and sharing your point of view. I find it especially encouraging to hear from those of you that live in the thick of it, right off of Woodward, and aren't bothered by it.

I can totally see your point of view, it isn't the best thing for the environment and lots of gas will be used to go nowhere. Maybe it will encourage the locals to ride their bikes this week?

August 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Becks, taking a cue from Elizabeth, I think the more appropriate thing to say is: "We're sadly still a Motor City - take time to stop smelling the exhaust."

August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Joerges

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