The latter years of the s through the s were the heyday of this most emancipating of teenage leisure pursuits. In Popular Culture As an illustration of the prevalence of cruising during the late s and mids consider the pervasiveness of this activity in popular culture. The Labour Party MP Ron Davies resigned after national newspapers reported that he was attacked and robbed by a man whom he met on the Common. A booming economy in the s continued to make automobile ownership affordable, yet not as affordable as it was half a century ago. Hampstead Heath has a long history of gay cruising with a long history of police arrests, attacks and, from the late s, minimal active policing and support by gay sexual health organisations.
It appears the first use of the term "cruisin" in print was by Max Shulman in his novel, Rally Round the Flag, Boys. In this series, the principal characters would often use Arnold's Drive-In as a hub of their nightly cruising. Occasionally, CSO's will visit a cruising area during the early hours of the morning with the intention of advising cruisers of the risk of homophobic attacks, and any persons seen to be involved in sexual behavior will be asked to move on rather than being arrested. However, as a widespread, teenage phenomenon it has been replaced by a number of other leisure pursuits: As a form of teenage expression, cruising afforded a generation of young Americans a sense of liberation never before realized. The first wave of Baby Boomers reached legal driving age in the late s. Sir John Gielgud , arrested for "importuning" in in Chelsea. Cruising continues to be a mainstay leisure option for a number of teenagers in the early s. The Geography of Nowhere: The mall has become the preeminent gathering place for teens; malls are ubiquitous and serve the teens' needs in any weather and any time of day. Drive-in restaurants and theaters in particular became popular during the s and early s. And just as a mixture of social, economic, and geographic influences combined to contribute to the rise of cruising, a similar mix has abetted in its dwindling popularity. Still, having access to a vehicle does not appear to be a limiting factor in the popularity of cruising in the early years of the twenty-first century. In Popular Culture As an illustration of the prevalence of cruising during the late s and mids consider the pervasiveness of this activity in popular culture. In George Lucas 's movie American Graffiti told the story of teenage hopes and dreams against the backdrop of cruising during one summer night in When cruising, the motivation is neither to get somewhere nor even necessarily to be somewhere. Tom Wolfe 's essay on the "Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Streamline" addressed the lure of having a custom car when cruising. The last of these, going to the mall, carries a number of parallels to cruising, especially the opportunity to find and meet other teens. These areas exist in all parts of Britain, including isolated rural areas. Another motivation of cruising is the desire to be on the move, even if there is no end destination. The latter years of the s through the s were the heyday of this most emancipating of teenage leisure pursuits. As a result, the malt shop or drive-in has given way to the strip mall along the four-lane highway or to the megamall with its multicultural food court. Rather, teens now have greater options to escape from parents and their homes. Leisure choices then were facilitated by a rapidly expanding economy and the attendant affordability of automobiles. The Suburbanization of the United States. The Demise of Cruising With cruising identified as one of the most popular teen leisure options in the s and s, one might ask if the activity has since faded away.
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