With apologies to my readers around the country and world, this one’s for the Detroiters and Michiganders. We have some business to take care of.
If a resident of suburban Detroit, or anywhere in Michigan really, finds themselves in casual small talk with a local when they’re far from home, odds are they will say “I’m from Detroit” to simplify things and move on to the next point. A native Parisian doesn’t know or care where Sterling Heights is; you know this, and you’re saving yourself a few sentences of clarification by fibbing a tiny bit in your answer.
Back at home though, it’s a different story. If a resident of Detroit proper is out drinking with a group of acquaintances, and a resident of Metropolitan Detroit has the audacity to casually refer to themselves as a “Detroiter”, that true Detroit resident typically can’t help themselves from pointing out “well, actually, you’re not a Detroiter per se. You live in Madison Heights.”
Their pride is understandable – Detroit, while rebounding nicely, is still a tough place to live for most, and those that take initiative to move south of Eight Mile and be an active part of the renaissance deserve credit for being part of the solution to the city’s ills.