1. Diversity. I mean diversity in all the ways possible. Detroit and the surrounding areas are filled with all kinds of people from different cultural, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Neighborhoods change quickly from one area to another, and even the neighborhoods themselves are extremely variant in population. Because of this, I feel like the people I’ve met from Detroit are some of the most interesting and complex around, with broad viewpoints and open minds.
2. Music. Detroit is home to some of the most influential music artists and as well as styles of music in American history. Blues, gospel, techno, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, Motown…all are associated with the city. Detroit is the birthplace of both techno and Motown music, as well as the stomping grounds of artists like Eminem, Madonna, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, MC5, Iggy Pop, Kid Rock, Aretha Franklin, the list goes on and on.
3. History. Detroit’s history is intricately linked with the history of America as a whole: the manufacturing and industrial strength, the post-war glow and suburban attraction, racial unrest in the 1960s, urban renewal and the challenges cities around the nation face today.
4. Architecture. The architecture in Detroit is unspeakably beautiful (ruins included). The gothic churches, the art deco skyscrapers, the industrial buildings, the memorials…all add tangible layers of the city’s history in a way that is very unique. The current trend toward uber-modern elements only add to this.
5. The people. People in Detroit (generally speaking, at least) are from Detroit. Their parents are from Detroit. They love Detroit. Maybe they move to another city, and realize they love Detroit more than they thought they did. You can take the person out of Detroit but you cannot take Detroit out of the person…they are committed to the city - they are resilient, tough, hopeful, and proud.
6. Culture. The art scene in Detroit is fantastic. The DIA is great, and there are unique things like the Heidelberg Project. There are endless music venues and clubs to hang out at, many independently owned shops, Eastern Market, and other unique things to do and places to see. The Dream Cruise, obnoxious though it may be when you live with year after year, is actually pretty cool - think abou it.
7. Sports. And sports fans. I’m not a big sports lover, but I can recognize that Detroit’s sports teams are some of the best around, and the fans are incredibly loyal. As a test to this statement- try saying something bad about the Red Wings to one of their fans, or anyone from Detroit for that matter, hockey fan or not. Try it.
8. The suburbs. The suburbs of Detroit are awesome. While I do want to keep the focus on the city, I can’t ignore the great things these places bring to the table. Main street shopping, dining, wining, partying, music venues…again the list goes on and on.
9. Food. Detroit is home to a lot of interesting foods, drinks, and restaurants. A lot of foods we take for granted around the area cannot be gotten anywhere else, so appreciate it: Vernor’s, Faygo, cheap food at a Coney Island, Shield’s pizza.