Life in the Motor City is undeniably unique. From our strange sporting traditions to our fascinating history and culture, there’s so much to love about Detroit. Those of us who reside here have had a front row seat to some unusual experiences throughout the years, and many of these trends have united Detroiters of all ages. Here are 11 unforgettable happenings that nearly everyone from our city has experienced.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Breaking the news that "South Detroit" doesn’t exist.
There’s nothing sadder than watching a tourist come to the realization that the lyrics to "Don’t Stop Believing" have led them astray. Sadly, there’s no such place as "South Detroit," unless you count the Detroit River itself. Many Detroiters have been forced to break this news to newcomers.
2. Cheering as an octopus is thrown onto the ice.
Nothing starts off a Red Wings game quite like watching a dead octopus fly through the air and land smack dab on the rink. Yes, it’s an odd tradition, but it's
out tradition, and it always seems to bring us good luck! Other hockey fans might cringe, but Detroiters are on their feet as soon as a flying octopus is spotted.
3. Cringing when someone puts ketchup on a coney dog.
Sure, we’re glad that many visitors enjoy our iconic coney dogs, but there’s one rule you should keep in mind as you dig in: ketchup does not belong on a coney dog under any circumstances. Load up on meat and onions, but leave the red sauce at home. Nothing makes us cringe more intensely!
4. Experiencing deep emotional pain during every NFL season.
There’s a special sort of disappointment that can only be experienced by fans whose teams have never appeared in a Super Bowl. We Detroiters are diehard supporters of the Lions, but that doesn’t mean we’re immune to the effects of constant loses. Football season is fun, but it unites us in its ultimate pain.
5. Correcting a tourist’s pronunciation of "Gratiot."
"Gray-tot?" "Grah-tee-oat?" Here in Detroit, we’ve heard it all. We don’t blame outsiders for struggling with the French name of our city’s major avenue, but there’s something undeniably amusing about listening to non-Detroiters try to pronounce Gratiot without success. We’ll help them out after a few tries!
6. Playing euchre in all sorts of places.
Euchre is truly a way of life here in Detroit. After all, this beloved card game has always been there for us throughout the years and it provides a perfect distraction or means of passing the time when we’re around loved ones. From funerals to weddings, we’ve played euchre in some strange locales.
7. Being made fun of for calling it "pop."
Every Detroiter has traveled outside the Motor City and found themselves among traitors who insist on calling that fizzy beverage "soda." We know that its proper name is "pop," and we won’t change our lexicon simply because we’re far from home. It might earn us a few strange looks, but we don’t mind.
8. Realizing that someone isn’t REALLY from Detroit.
You know the drill: you’re chatting with a new acquaintance who excitedly announces that they’re also from Detroit. When you do a bit of digging, you realize that they’re actually from Bloomfield Hills. Sorry, friend - the suburbs aren’t the same as truly residing in the Motor City, but we’ll let you keep dreaming.
9. Taking a quick day trip to Canada.
Residents of most other major American cities certainly can’t take a brief jaunt across an international border. We Detroiters are lucky to live so close to Ontario, and most of us have made the journey to Canada for a day, a dinner, or a few hours of exploration. How lucky are we?
10. Watching the weather change on a dime.
Here in Detroit, dressing in layers is an absolute must. After all, we’re used to the reality of our strange weather systems, and we’re well aware that we might wake up to a snowstorm and fall asleep with the air conditioning on. There’s no telling what Mother Nature has in store for Detroit every day.
11. Constantly defending the Motor City.
As much as we adore our hometown, non-Detroiters can be quick to pass judgment or buy into negative stereotypes presented by the media. Those of us who call the Motor City home are well aware of these incorrect beliefs, and we’re deeply united by our pride for Detroit. Despite its difficulties and setbacks, we’ll defend this beautiful city for the rest of our days.
Tell us, Detroiters: are there other one-of-a-kind experiences that seem to unite Motor City residents of all ages? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!