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December 29, 2011 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-12-29

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In Defense of Cars

A love letter to our versatile vehicles and the joys they bring.

By Gina Volpe

nyone in possession of eyes, ears or even a semi-conscious state can't escape learning
of some new report each month detailing the evils of automobiles and their noxious
fumes. I say: Shut up. We're all going to croak eventually, so let's not stress over a few
toxins here and there when there are such marvelous delights to be had inside and near
our automobiles. Below, a few of life's sweet pleasures we couldn't enjoy without cars:


Seven power u • an emotiona portraits o esus
by Rembrandt and his students are brought together
for the first time in this exhibition of 6+ intimate
works. Experience Rembrandt's break from tradition
as he portrays Jesus as a compassionate, complex
human being. dia,org




This exhibition has been erganizec: by the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Musa du Louvre and
the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In Detroit, the exhibition is generously sponsored by a gift
from The Cracchiolo Family. Additional support has been provided by the City of Detroit. This
exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on he Arts and the Humanities.
Head ?fgrszt.; attributed to Rembrandt van Rijn, 148:165-o, oil on oak panel. Detroit Institute of Arts.


Road trips are a blast. No, not those 17-hour drags filled with grumpy families, full blad-
ders and your parents' Michael Bolton collection blasting for the entire duration. We've all
experienced the unpleasantness of a day crammed in a minivan with Mom and Dad, wish-
ing for earplugs and adulthood and maybe death.
These torturous childhood road trips only made our first real excursions more exciting
when we finally turned 16 (or 17, or 18, or 23, if you parallel park like I do), had a set of
wheels and could hit the road on our own. Even if we were headed somewhere awful like
Cedar Point, where we'd wait in line for three hours only to have the 12-year-old behind us
barf in our hair once aboard the Dragster, we were still happy. We knew the real joy was in
our newfound freedom, the fun of setting off with our friends and pretending to be real
adults. Heck, even the grody Ohio rest stops were fun because we felt like grownups. Tak-
ing our first real road trip is akin to filing our own taxes when it comes to giving us a taste
of independence, and it's a heck of a lot more fun.


Facebook stalking has nothing on the pure joy and satisfaction of actual stalking — in
a harmless and totally legal, fun way, of course. Yes, I'm talking about cruising past your
crush's house in hopes of catching a peek of excitement. Never mind that the most action
you'll usually find through the window is Mom making a roast or a creepy roommate
scratching himself as he watches reruns of Cops. The adventure is more fun than the out-
Nothing beats the thrill of gripping your steering wheel in excitement as you peer
through the window of your crush's house while you slowly creep by, hoping desperately
to avoid detection. The shakiness of your toes on the gas pedal for those few seconds,
followed by a sudden slam on the gas when you mistake a shaking tree limb for a person
spotting you, is a thrill that just can't be replicated in any place other than a car. Sure, you
could rollerblade by, but a helmet and elbow pads don't offer quite the same level of dis-
guise as an actual door and window.


Even the valedictorian knows the best part of school
is skipping it! Cutting class transforms one's ride from
a mere method of transportation to a getaway vehicle.
How could you skip algebra without it? I suppose you
could simply walk out the door, but when the principal spots
you out his office window and hunts you down, all the babes in
school will want to skip out on you, ya dork.
Besides, there's no easy way to get from school to Tim Horton's without
a car. I mean, there's always hitchhiking, but it's kind of hard to get excited
about the delicious bagel in your future when you're busy wondering if your
ride is going to kidnap you.



wine bar and bistro

farm to table cuisine

serving dinner tuesday thru saturday

155 south bates street. birmingham

8 January 2012


It's common knowledge that the best part of a concert isn't the performance but the
boozing and hot-dog guzzling in the parking lot beforehand. (And this doesn't just ap-
ply when the concert is John Mayer and literally
anything, including root canals, term papers and
prison, would be preferable to the musical act.)
Loading up the trunk with a grill and cooler and
parking outside the Palace to roast Hebrew Nation-
als and sip brewskis is more than just a preconcert
ritual; it's an event. For some of us (me), not count-
ing Chanukah, the annual pre-concert tailgates
comprise the most time we spend with our families
each year.
Without our trusty automobile, how else would
we lug our burgers and Budweisers to the venue?
In a wagon? Maybe if it was 1850. By bike? Perhaps if we were made of muscle and OK with
being mistaken for hipsters. But really, we couldn't do it without a car.

Let's face it: There's really nothing that can replace an automobile. Cars don't just take us
where we need to go; they provide us with those merry moments that make life fun to live.
There are certain joys in life — a road trip with friends, an adrenaline-filled spy mission, a
tailgate with your family — that simply could not exist without cars to bring us there. OK,
so our vehicles may be harming the environment and slowly killing us, but in the mean-
time, they sure provide us with some amazing distractions. RT.


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