Say 30 Nice Things About Detroit

Ian Douglass sent me his article he published on the Movoto blog: “30 Things You Need to Know About Detroit Before You Move There.”

I think Ian’s rundown is a refreshingly positive and artfully humorous view of the Detroit brand. I especially like his reference to Vernors, the “oldest surviving ginger ale brand in the United States.” Typically these Detroit narratives include mention of our coney island dogs, but not Vernors. And more importantly, #19 on the list refers to the fact that we say “pop” here, not soda. The use of soda in this part of the world will identify you as an outsider and you will forever be branded with a label of blasphemy. Literally, locals despise the term soda. I know I do.

A minor slip does occur, however, when Detroit is noted as the consumption capital of potato chips, but our Better Made potato chip factory did not make the cut. Other mentions that are notable:

(1) Motown Museum, where all the groove started.

(2) The repurposing of land via urban agriculture. My friends over at Brother Nature farm get a mention.

(3) #16: the photo of the “welcome to Detroit” sign with a bumper sticker slapped on it that reads “Kwame Killed My City.” He may have killed it, but a citizen-entrepreneur army is taking it back.

One super-epic failure that needs to be mentioned here: #30 points out that “Mexicantown restaurant edges Xochimilco as the best” Mexican restaurant. Horrors, horrors, horrors! These restaurants all serve up the usual “Mexican fare”: Americanized junk food dressed up in flour tortillas with mounds of processed cheese piled on everything. These restaurants attract what I refer to as the “suburban tourists.” They do not serve Mexican food. If I needed any confirmation on this, I have that in three of my Mexican-bred co-workers who all live and function in Mexicantown and can attest to my skills for identifying Mexican food as opposed to Americanized nonsense. Remember Chi-Chi’s, those awful chains? These restaurants serve up the same constitution. Blah!

You must get out of the “tourist section” of Mexicantown to visit the truly Mexican restaurants that actually serve Mexican food. Taqueria Mi Pueblo on Dix is one of the more authentic places, but even better are the Mexican taco trucks that are conveniently placed at neighborhood hot spots (legal) or conveniently hidden from street view (illegal). These places are beyond magnificent with their freshly-made (locally) double-wrapped corn tortillas, fresh herbs and spices, everything bathed in cilantro, and no processed cheese piled on American-style.


Source: Flickr user rain0975