Living in the Motor City is an undeniably unique experience. From our sports teams to our favorite restaurants, we’ve got plenty to be proud of in our one-of-a-kind metropolis. But there are a few undeniable traits we share that might set us apart in a slightly less conventional way. Thankfully, we can’t help but laugh at ourselves. Here are nine things that many Detroit residents do, odd as they might sound.
1. Use ginger ale as medicine.
We know, we know. It’s difficult to understand if you aren’t from the Detroit area, but we swear by the use of Vernors Ginger Ale as a way to settle our stomachs. Don’t get us wrong: we won’t judge you for taking Pepto Bismol the next time you’re experiencing a little nausea, but we also won’t stop sipping on our favorite fizzy drink to help ease our digestive troubles.
2. Remain loyal to the Detroit Lions.
You know, after decades of disappointment and a grand total of zero Super Bowl appearances, one might think that the Detroit Lions would have a pretty tiny remaining fanbase. But Detroiters refuse to give up on their beloved Lions, and it might be a bit baffling to anyone who isn’t from the Motor City. There’s something about hearing that touchdown song ringing through Ford Field whenever we score that keeps us coming back for more, despite our less-than-stellar record. "Forward down the field…"
3. Throw octopi onto the hockey rink.
If you aren’t a Detroit Red Wings fan, chances are good that you’ve never tossed a dead sea creature onto the ice rink before a game. But this Detroit tradition began way back in the 1950s, when local brothers Pete and Jerry Cusimano each threw a slimy octopus into the ring before a Red Wings game. Why an octopus? Well, at that time, it took exactly eight wins to snag a Stanley Cup. An octopus has eight legs… it all makes perfect sense!
4. Get irritated while listening to "Don’t Stop Believin’."
Okay, listen. We enjoy singing along to the Journey classic as much as anyone else, but there’s one line that irks all Detroiters each time we hear it. "Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit." Sure, we appreciate the shoutout to our hometown, but did you know that "South Detroit" doesn’t actually exist? The southernmost section of Downtown Detroit is the Detroit River, and we’ve never had a section of town known widely as "South Detroit." Nice try, Journey, but do a little extra research next time!
5. Wave at Canadians without leaving home.
We can see Canada from our houses! No, seriously. It might sound strange to out-of-towners, but we Detroiters are just a stone’s throw away from Canada. On a clear day, you can just about wave directly to your friends in Windsor from your vantage point on the Detroit River. This proximity to another country certainly sets us apart, and we wouldn't change it for the world.
6. Take day trips to Ontario.
While we're on the topic of Canada, we might as well mention that we can take super-brief trips across the border. In fact, some Detroiters even make an international commute each day for work — can you non-Detroit residents imagine such an easy cross-country journey?
7. Grab beer from the "party store."
This might not be common knowledge to Detroiters, but apparently we sound pretty strange when we mention that we’re running to the party store. Outside of Michigan, this phrase simply isn’t used — and it likely conjures up interesting images to those who haven’t heard it before. We know that the party store is simply another name for a convenience shop that carries plenty of booze, but others might imagine some sort of unique, club-like shopping experience, complete with strobe lights and streamers.
8. Insist that Faygo is a food group of its own.
Don’t try to tell us that Faygo isn’t in its very own league of delicious drinks. This sweet pop has been a classic Detroit beverage for generations, and we’ll stand by it forever. Have you really ever lived until you’ve sipped on a can of Redpop or cooled down with a chilly glass of Rock n’ Rye? We don’t think so, and we’ll gladly offer you a swig of our own — as long as it’s just one swig!
9. Vehemently defend the Motor City.
This one breaks our heart a bit. People who don’t live in Detroit are often quick to write it off as a failing city or a symbol of crime and deterioration. We aren’t blind to the fact that our hometown has gone through its fair share of trials and tribulations. In fact, we were here to watch as Detroit went from an automotive powerhouse to a financial disaster, and it certainly hasn’t been an easy road. But our city is on the mend in more ways than one — we’re focused on the future, and we’ll continue to defend the amazing contributions and culture that make Detroit one of the most unique places in the world.
Tell us, Detroiters: what are some weird habits that make your out-of-town friends scratch their heads in confusion? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.