While I am technically not from Downtown Detroit, I live about 20 minutes outside of it, in the suburbs. When I moved to Miami, I found that people seem to recognize my area more when I say I am from Detroit. But, through the experience of telling people where I am “from” and the reactions I have received, perhaps I have given them the wrong idea.These are six of the most common questions / reactions I receive after I tell someone I am from Detroit.
1. “Do you live by 8 Mile?”
No, I don’t live on 8 Mile. Nor have I ever stepped foot onto 8 Mile. In fact, 8 Mile isn’t really even something you would encounter unless you’re looking for it. But, if you do happen to pass it on your way into the city or just by accident, you probably can do so without being shot.
2. “Do you know Eminem?”
I do not know Eminem and have never met him. I saw him in concert once though.
…yeah? Maybe people recognize Detroit as being some ghetto, poverty-struck, “dead” city. But, let’s not forget we are the Motor City, and that the music all of you listen to was born in Detroit. NOT Los Angeles or any other part of California. For all the uncultured musicians or "heavy music fans".
4. “I owe you my condolences, isn’t the city abandoned ever since it went completely bankrupt?”
This was an actual question an Uber driver actually asked me. It would be a lie saying that Detroit wasn’t hit pretty hard by financial issues, specifically in 2008 after the recession hit. That doesn’t mean the city is empty, let alone abandoned. Detroit is full of people who would die for their city, and chose to stay there even after it was hit that hard. They chose to stay and suffer the consequences with their city. Would the people in your city do that?
5. "Do you know any gang members?"
Yeah, you don't?
6. “Wait, you actually like it there?”
Yeah. Not to brag but the Jackson 5 became famous in my city. The origins of the car you drive and the music you listen? We created. Our theatre district is second to New York’s and our restaurants are amazing. And also, if you want to hate on Detroit, I hope you’re not a Ginger Ale drinker since that originated here too. But yeah, I love my city. And I’ll always carry a piece of it with me.