I don't know how you could mention Watkins Glen without talking about the bog monsters - the "fans" who partied in the infield and once burned a Japanese tourist bus. And the Glen was popular with F1 drivers because it paid the best of all the GPs, other that that, the place was not especially glamorous. With the exception of the Glen and the COTA, US F1 promoters did not take F1 racing very seriously. No need to mention the ridiculous disaster at Indy.
The Grand Prix on Belle Isle, was a stupid misunderstanding of the term and the racing. They kept the name, but changed to Indy cars! Local moron media and public never knew the difference. At lest the drivers weren't as whiny!
Good article, brought back a lot of memories! I have been to 3 of the locations. Watkins Glen several times. Detroit - the sound of the cars echoing off the buildings was amazing. Indy the first year - really enjoyed the cars on the road course portion. Next June will make it 4 in Miami, I can't wait! when I first heard the announcement I said, oh no, Ceaser's Place East! Butr then I saw the layout with the high speed streets, this could be a great location, although the neighborhood leaves a lot to be desired! I have also been to races outside U.S. - Mexico, Portugal (Estoril, Spain (Jerez de la Frontera), and Australia (Adelaide). Which one was my favorite - ALL OF THEM. Hard to pick one but if I had to it would be Adelaide as I had team photo credentials and could go anywhere except pit lane during the race. I was on the starting grid until the final clear which was amazing!
Actually, Queen Mary was never a cruise ship. She was an ocean liner. While visibly similar, the two types of ships are constructed using different priorities, liners for speed and endurance, cruise ships sacrifice speed for comfort. Liners are able to function as cruise ships although economically they are not optimized for that function. Pure cruise ships are unable to engage in trans oceanic liner service due to their limited speed and sea keeping.