The Motor City might seem like a fairly straightforward destination to those who aren’t familiar with its ins and outs: after all, we’ve certainly received plenty of media attention throughout the years. But living in Detroit is an undeniably unique experience, for better or for worse. Here are 11 things you might not know about residing in our beloved city.
1. When we say it gets cold, we mean REALLY cold.
You’ve certainly heard plenty of cautionary tales about the temperatures here in "the D," and those tales are true -- but many new Detroiters aren’t quite prepared for just how freezing it gets here. Living in Detroit means investing in some serious wintertime gear to help avoid frostbite!
2. The food scene is incredible.
When it comes to fantastic food, Detroit might not be at the top of every foodie’s list, but we’d like to change that. Our city is ripe with new restaurants, unique food-based endeavors, and cuisine from all over the world. From old-world Greek eateries to authentic Mexican fare, there’s something here for everyone.
3. There’s plenty of fresh air to be found.
A city based around the automobile industry? Sounds like a recipe for overwhelming air pollution. Yes, our city deals with its fair share of unclean air, but there’s also an abundance of outdoor space to explore in Detroit. Take a stroll along the Detroit River, enjoy a bike ride through the Dequindre Cut, or pack a picnic lunch and head to Milliken State Park. There’s plenty of greenery to admire.
4. You’ll feel like an honorary Canadian.
You might know that Detroit sits just a stone’s throw away from Canada, but you might not know that this proximity makes us feel like honorary Canadian citizens from time to time! After all, many of us even work in Windsor or spend our free time across the river, so it should come as no surprise that we’ve got a bit of Ontario pride in our blood.
5. Don’t put ketchup on your coney dog. Trust us.
There’s not a whole lot to say about this one, but please believe us when we warn you that putting ketchup on your coney dog won’t earn you a whole lot of respect here in the Motor City. We Detroiters are proud of our Coney Island eateries, but we take our topping rules quite seriously!
6. There’s more to Detroit than abandoned buildings.
One of the most upsetting elements of living in Detroit is the abundance of uneducated reactions that come to the surface when we tell non-Detroiters where we’re from. If you’re planning to move to the Motor City, prepare to become acquainted with Detroit’s past, present, and future: you’ll want to be ready when the time comes to defend our city against naysayers.
7. The Detroit River is our heart and soul.
When you’re feeling sad, make your way to the Detroit River. Bodies of water often hold a special sort of healing power, and our beloved river is no exception. There’s something undeniably calming about gazing out at the gentle waves as they crash along the shoreline. You’ll soon realize that the Detroit River is a perfect place to unwind.
8. If you love music, you’ve come to the right place.
Sure, Detroit is obviously known for its vital role in the rise of Motown music, but that’s not its only point of pride within the industry! The Motor City is full of fantastic venues, from the Fox Theatre to Little Caesers Arena, that draw in countless artists and acts each year. You’ll have a front-row seat to some of the world’s most amazing performances when you live in Detroit.
9. Diversity is our strength and our pride.
People come to Detroit from all backgrounds and all walks of life -- and we couldn’t be more proud. With countless diverse neighborhoods and opportunities to interact with those from many different cultural and religious belief systems, there’s something truly beautiful about the melting pot that is Detroit. No matter who you are, you’ll find a community in the Motor City to call your own.
10. People from the suburbs will try to claim they’re from Detroit.
One surprise that many new Detroiters face comes about while interacting with people who claim to hail from the Motor City. The interaction might go a little something like this: you tell a new acquaintance that you’re from Detroit, only to be met with an excited "So am I!" Upon asking for details, your new pal reveals that they’re actually from Farmington Hills. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
11. No single article could ever fully capture Detroit’s beauty.
Try as we might, we can never completely prepare new Detroiters for the experiences and relationships they’ll encounter here in our beloved Motor City. There’s a spirit to Detroit that simply can’t be captured in words, so we’ll leave most of the discovery to you. One thing is for certain, though: once you’ve immersed yourself in its many facets, Detroit will always be a part of you.
Tell us, fellow Detroiters: did we leave anything off our list? What are some of the lesser-known elements that accompany life here in the Motor City? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!