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Friday, August 16, 2013

The Changing Story Of Teens And Cars | NPR

This is the first of a series of stories produced in collaboration with Youth Radio on the changing car culture in America.
When you're a teenager, there are many things you desperately want to find: friends, fun, a future, freedom.
In American Graffiti, the iconic movie about teenagers set in 1962, the kids find all of that just by getting in their cars. The teenagers spend a whole lot of time tooling around in their cars — looking, cruising.
But the deep relationship between American teen culture and the automobile depicted in the film has changed. Young people are driving less, getting their licenses later and waiting longer to purchase their first new car.
The movie was set — but not filmed — in Modesto, Calif., and I wanted to see if any part of the city was like the movie. So on a hot Friday and Saturday summer night, I drove around Modesto.
With its downtown and long, wide streets, the city seems a perfect place to cruise. But that's not what's happening.


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