Growing up in Detroit is a one-of-a-kind experience. Those of us who hail from the Motor City are lucky to have memories of Detroit in all its glory, and we’re proud to watch the city as it rebuilds today. While each and every Detroiter is different, there are a few effects of a Detroit upbringing that seem to be pretty universal. Here are ten of the most prominent.
1. Craving Vernors during an illness.
When it comes to an upset stomach, every Detroiter knows the perfect fix: Vernors ginger ale. No matter how old we are or how bad our nausea gets, Detroiters immediately crave the soothing taste of Vernors when we're having stomach issues.
2. A perpetual desire to defend the Lions.
Despite the fact that they constantly let us down, we just can’t seem to stop defending our less-than-perfect NFL team. Here in Detroit, there seems to be an automatic urge to stand up for the Lions when they’re ridiculed by other football fans. No matter how far you stray from the city, you’ll find yourself remaining loyal to the boys in blue.
3. A strong urge to be near the river.
Flickr/Michigan Municipal League
When you grow up near the beautiful Detroit River, it truly sticks with you. We Detroiters have come to feel most comfortable when we’re close to the water, and moving to a more inland area might incite the overwhelming urge to stroll along the riverfront. It’s hard to explain, but it’s there.
4. Total tolerance for potholes.
Don’t even try to complain to us about the potholes in your city or state. Detroiters (and Michiganders as a whole) have experienced more potholes than you can possibly imagine. After being raised in Detroit, no pothole can throw us for a loop — that’s a guarantee!
5. The uncanny ability to select a perfect layered outfit.
Here in Detroit, the weather changes on a dime. Our climate shifts from sunny and 70 degrees one day to below zero and snowy the next. This doesn’t worry us, though: we’ve simply perfected the art of dressing in layers so we’re prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way. No matter where we relocate to, we’ll always have that built-in skill for creating a layered look.
6. An insatiable appetite for coney dogs.
No one does coney dogs quite like Detroit. Motor City residents who grew up chowing down on these delicious dogs at Lafayette, American, or one of the countless other coney restaurants in the area will never be able to shake that craving. It seems to programmed into our brains, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
7. An unshakeable preference for square pizza.
Perhaps we’ll never be able to explain it, but it’s true: square pizza is just better! Try as we might to give other pizza styles a chance, we Detroiters will likely spend the rest of our lives remaining partial to the square option.
8. The urge to dance to every Motown song ever written.
Our city is the birthplace of Motown music, and we make sure never to forget it. With such a deep respect for the artists who got their start here, many Detroit residents feel a close connection to the songs these artists have produced. That said, don’t be surprised when we bust out dancing upon hearing the first note of a Stevie Wonder or Diana Ross classic.
9. A sense of pride for being "almost Canadian."
Admit it, Detroiters: you’ve gotten a TINY bit choked up upon hearing "O Canada" at least once. Our proximity to Windsor, Ontario makes us feel like honorary Canadians from time to time, and many of our coworkers and pals live just across the Ambassador Bridge. We’ll always have a fondness for Canada after growing up just a stone’s throw away.
10. The thickest skin imaginable.
Here in Detroit, we’ve heard it all. With uniformed remarks about our city to downright cruel stereotypes, it’s safe to say that the Motor City is grossly misrepresented to most people who haven’t had the chance to visit. After an upbringing in Detroit, it’s difficult to truly get under our skin — and we’ll continue to defend our city for the rest of our lives.
Are there any side effects you’ve experienced after growing up in Detroit? We’re always eager to hear from you, so please share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below!