Detroit April 19, 2020
9 Things You Quickly Learn When You Move Away From Detroit
There’s so much to adore about the Motor City, but some of us ultimately move away due to work, family, or other obligations. While we might settle in other parts of the country, Detroit is always in our blood – and it’s hard to shake the traits, habits, and traditions that come along with living in the city. Here are nine things that you quickly learn when you move away from the Motor City.
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1. We’re weird for calling it “pop”
If you make your home far from Detroit, you’ll likely get a few strange looks when you ask for “pop” at a restaurant. Yes, we’ve always known that soft drinks are referred to as “soda” in other parts of the country, but there’s nothing quite like getting that first puzzled facial expression when you try to order from a drink menu. No matter how far from Detroit we stray, we’re always calling it “pop.”
2. The Lions make for a great punchline
We Detroiters are fiercely loyal to our beloved Lions, probably to a fault - after all, they’ve let us down more times than we can count. But that never stops us from heading out to Ford Field, dressing up in our favorite jerseys, and celebrating victories when they arise. Outside of the Motor City, though, rooting for the Lions might just make you the butt of a few jokes.
3. No one knows what Detroit-style pizza is
Chicago deep dish is known across the world and New York’s fantastic thin crust pizza is certainly famous, but Detroit-style square pizza just doesn’t hold the same reputation. Motor City locals know that there’s something fantastic about digging into a crispy corner piece, so we simply have to educate our new friends about the wonders of Detroit-style pie once we leave home.
4. “Cold” means something different outside Detroit
There’s nothing quite like a Detroit winter. In fact, most of us have grown accustomed to weathering blizzards and sub-zero temperatures to go about our daily commutes and other activities - but this isn’t true in other parts of the country. In fact, when you move away from Detroit, you might just find your new neighbors complaining about temperatures in the 20s or 30s. All you can do is chuckle as you toss on a light jacket and head outside.
5. People think South Detroit is a real place
When you leave Detroit, you might hear people referencing the lyrics to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which allude to being “born and raised in South Detroit.” If you’re actually from the Motor City, though, you know that South Detroit doesn’t exist. In fact, if South Detroit were real, it would probably fall somewhere in the middle of the Detroit River or smack dab in Ontario.
6. Non-Detroiters assume that we’re all personal friends with Eminem
Eminem is one of Detroit’s most famous exports, making a name as one of the world’s most celebrated rappers and often referencing his Motor City roots throughout the years. Because of this, when you move out of Detroit, you might just come across a few people who assume that you must have some deep personal connection to Eminem. Get ready to hear a slew of “hilarious” 8 Mile jokes, too.
7. Some of our traditions are slightly odd
We know, we know: it might be hard to believe, but apparently people from other cities don’t throw dead octopi onto the ice prior to NHL games. As Red Wings fans, we Detroiters know that this custom is a perfectly reasonable way to guarantee good luck during gametime. When you try to explain this and other Detroit traditions to outsiders, though, you might get a few confused looks.
8. Vernors doesn’t get the respect it deserves
Outside of Detroit and Michigan as a whole, Vernors isn’t terribly well-known. If you move far from Detroit and recommend Vernors as a remedy for nausea, be prepared to field plenty of questions. After all, it’s much easier to reach for Pepto Bismol when an upset stomach strikes, but we Detroiters have a moral obligation to spread the delights of Vernors across the land.
9. The beauty of Detroit is misunderstood
Most importantly, when you leave Detroit, you’ll often find yourself sticking up for the city in response to ignorance and stereotypes. People who have never explored the Motor City simply don’t understand its resilience, culture, and incredible beauty. While it can be frustrating to constantly live in defense mode, there’s a certain sense of pride that comes along with growing up in Detroit - and we’ll never let it go.
Have you moved away from Detroit in recent years? What are some things you’ve learned along the way? Be sure to share your experiences with fellow readers by leaving a comment below! Are there any attractions around Detroit that we should consider for a future article? Fill out our nomination form here.
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vintage photos from Detroit. Address: Detroit, MI, USA