Woodward Avenue

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Woodward Avenue is a story written by Aosora Hikaru. It ran in Issue 53 at http://s2b2.livejournal.com/300451.html, and is mirrored at http://www.shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/woodward-avenue/.

Summary[edit]

Oliver Kim, a Detroit-area engineer, has inherited a beautiful 1970 Chevelle SS from his uncle. The car has sat rotting in his garage for five years, however. After his co-worker convinces him to call local mechanic Antoine Brown, Oliver finds himself on a path leading to several Detroit traditions, with Antoine behind the wheel.

Antoine cut me off again, and the tone in his voice let me know he was very serious about this. “Let me make this clear. You said you wanted to drive this car in the Dream Cruise, but now she won’t start. We have two months to get this car up and running and I will be damned if I let an opportunity like this slip past both of us. Give me your address, and I will be there in ten minutes.”

Connections[edit]

Woodward Avenue is unconnected to other stories or universes.

Related Links[edit]

Woodward Avenue will be listed on Goodreads and Archive of Our Own.

Author's Notes[edit]

Again with another Detroit-based story! As I mentioned before in Riverfront Blues, I live near here! I'm a transplant, not a native, but it's sort of like once you've lived here for any significant length of time it soaks into your bones.

I tried to talk about what each of the local things IS, but I will of course go into more detail here. :) The funny thing is, both Hotter Than July and the Woodward Dream Cruise are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.

Hotter Than July, while also being a Stevie Wonder album, is one of several gay pride events happening in the local metro Detroit area over the course of the summer. (Oliver would likely attend the Ferndale Pride, considering that's the city he lives in, and there is also Motor City Pride, which happens on the Detroit Riverfront in Hart Plaza.) Hotter Than July is unique in that it is specifically for the African-American community. It happens in Palmer Park, an area of Detroit with a rich and storied history. Prior to the 1980s, there was a large LGBT community here, but as crime in the area increased there was an exodus to the communities north along the Woodward corridor (Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, and Birmingham).

The Woodward Dream Cruise is one of the largest classic car shows in the United States. Over one million people attend, and over forty thousand muscle cars, street rods, and custom cars drive the route up and down Woodward. (Are you seeing a theme? Perhaps realized why this story is titled Woodward Avenue?) It is very popular here locally, and you can see signs peppered along Woodward advertising parking for the cruise months in advance. And yes, you need to buy parking months in advance, or find yourself walking forever from your parking spot to Woodward. It's pretty nightmarish to find yourself needing to go to Ferndale or Royal Oak on the day of the Dream Cruise, but it's sure fun to watch the event happen. (Anecdotally, I was due with my daughter the week after the Dream Cruise in 2009, and I was terrified I'd have to fight Dream Cruise traffic in labor to get to Beaumont Royal Oak, the hospital I was delivering at! Considering I lived on the opposite side of Woodward as the hospital, it would have been a bit of a hassle. Thank goodness she decided to arrive a week and a half late instead.)

Basically, when I saw this issue theme was Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, I knew I needed to set it in Detroit, because Motor City! So even though it's set in the same general area as Riverfront Blues, it's highly unlikely Oliver and Antoine know John and Nate (though they may listen to them on the air in the mornings!). I just couldn't not set this story here, about the Dream Cruise. Maybe my first story in 2016 will be a Detroit story, too. Maybe I'll make Dating, and How to Make Apostasy Work For You the odd first-story-of-the-year out.

FUN FACT: This story was published 172 days before the 2015 Woodward Dream Cruise.

External Reviews[edit]

  • fairyninjas.wordpress.com: "A man who inherited a very fancy classic car from his uncle wants to get it back into shape to go in a fancy car parade (cruise?), and the mechanic he ends up with …both is and is not what he expected. This was pretty hot and interesting, had some nice character development for such a short story."
  • http://harmless-one.livejournal.com/36069.html: "Woodward Avenue by Aosora Hikaru is a sweet story about Oliver whose uncle left him one hell of a car. Antoine is enlisted to help get the car back up and running for a Dream Cruise where car enthusiasts roll out their rides and show them off. Antoine and Oliver are a case of opposites attract and it's very charming watching them get all starry-eyed over each other. "