25 Things You Should Know About Detroit


You know about the cars—and that Eminem grew up on Eight Mile. But there’s plenty more to learn about Michigan’s most populous city.

1. It’s dubbed the Motor City for a reason. Detroit was home to the first mile of concrete highway, the first four-way three-color traffic light, and the world’s first urban freeway.

2. It’s also the site of the Detroit Windsor Tunnel, the first traffic tunnel between two nations. Hi, Canada!

3. To get to the D, some Canadians drive north. It’s the only major city in America north of Canada. Crazy, eh?

4. They can also use the Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor and Detroit. It’s the busiest single border crossing in North America.


. Detroiters like their spirits. During Prohibition it’s estimated some 75 percent of illegal liquor supplied to the U.S. was smuggled through the city’s waterways.

6. Detroit, a.k.a. the Paris of the Midwest, also boasts the nation’s oldest soda: Vernor’s ginger ale.

7. Legend has it that the refreshment was created by accident. Detroit pharmacist James Vernor crafted a new drink, and then was called to serve in the Civil War in 1862. He stored the beverage in an oak cask—when he came back he learned the keg had transformed it.

8. Mixing the popular sip with vanilla ice cream makes a Boston Cooler—a drink named for a Boulevard in Detroit, not the Massachusetts city. 

9. Detroit’s 987-acre Belle Isle Park—which has a golf course, museum, basketball courts, and baseball fields—is the largest island park in the United States.



. The 313 is a bit salty—1,200 feet underneath Detroit there are 1,400 acres of salt mines. Operated by the Detroit Salt Company, the mine contains more than 100 miles of road.

11. The city also ranks first in the nation in potato chip consumption per capita.

12. In 1959 Berry Gordy Jr. developed a little outfit called Motown Records in the city. Are you a fan of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross or Stevie Wonder? You’re welcome.

13. A few other musicians call the Detroit area home. See: Madonna, Aretha Franklin, Kid Rock, Aaliyah, The White Stripes and, yes, Eminem.


Aretha Franklin, 1968 // Getty

14. The city has also been cited as the birthplace of techno music.

15. And its theater district is the second largest in the country—bested only by New York City.

16. Detroit’s J.W. Westcott is America’s only floating zip code. The boat, docked on the Detroit River, delivers mail to other vessels in the area.

17. The D is also home to WWJ (formerly 8MK), thought to be the first radio station to broadcast regular news reports. It went on air in 1920.

18. In 1899 Sebastian S. Kresge opened a five-and-ten-cent store on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue. He later went on to open a small shop he dubbed K Mart.

19. The 72-floor Marriott at the Renaissance Center in Detroit is the tallest hotel in North America. When it opened in 1977, it was the tallest in the world.



20. But it may never house fans of the Olympics. The city has made seven unsuccessful bids for the summer games —the most by any city in the world never to host the event.

21. Sorry, Journey fans, there is no such thing as South Detroit. When Steve Perry was penning “Don’t Stop Believin’” he just thought it sounded good.

22. You can bowl Detroiters over. The city has the most registered bowlers anywhere in the United States.

23. Really, they’re just big on fun and games. Home to the Tigers, Pistons, Red Wings and Lions, Detroit was also the site of the country’s first national billiards championship in 1859.



24. It was once home to the world’s largest stove. But the 15-ton oak stove replica was destroyed in a 2011 fire.

25. The official motto of Detroit: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus, which is Latin for “We hope for better things; it shall rise from the ashes.”

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These Are the World's 10 Most Expensive Cities

While Americans in big cities may complain about how expensive the cost of living is, according to a new report, places like New York and Los Angeles don’t even come close to the expense of international cities like Singapore. As Travel + Leisure mentions, The Economist Intelligence Unit’s biannual report on the world’s most expensive cities has named the Asian city-state the most expensive place on Earth to live for the fifth year in a row. No U.S. city even cracks the top 10.

The Intelligence Unit’s survey tracks prices of 160 products and services in cities across the world, including food and drink, clothing, rent, utility bills, transportation, and more. It’s designed to help companies calculate cost-of-living analyses for employees traveling and living abroad, but it also just provides an intriguing snapshot into how the rest of the world lives, and just how expensive your next vacation might be. And, of course, it allows you to feel a little better about your own city. Next time you want to complain about your rising rent, New Yorkers, know that residents of Seoul have to pay 50 percent more than you for groceries.

The prices used in the calculations are converted to U.S. dollars, meaning that the whole thing is tied to how much the dollar is worth—if the euro is worth more than the dollar, you’ll need more dollars to buy things in Paris. A weakening dollar is one reason the report gives for the lack of U.S. cities in the top 10 list, even though American cities are becoming more expensive relative to past years. (New York, currently in 13th place, was in the 27th spot five years ago.)

Without further ado, and with our deepest sympathies to their denizens, here are the top 10 most expensive cities across the world:

1. Singapore
2. Paris, France
2. Zurich, Switzerland
4. Hong Kong
5. Oslo, Norway
6. Geneva, Switzerland
6. Seoul, South Korea
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
9. Tel Aviv, Israel
10. Sydney, Australia

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

19 Must-Visit Stops on Mexico City's Metro

About 5 million people ride the Mexico City subway every day—but most commuters don’t realize how much there is to do and see without ever having to go above ground. From piano stairs to a space tunnel, exploring the attractions hidden within the metro just might be the most fun you can have for 5 pesos (about $0.25 USD). These Mexico City metro stations settle the old question once and for all; it’s both the journey and the destination.


Talisman station (line 4) has a mammoth logo for a reason: Mammoth fossils were unearthed during construction of the metro, and you can see the bones—which date back to the Pleistocene—on display there.


space tunnel at La Raza station
Sharon Hahn Darlin, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

How do you make a long transfer fly by? Transform it into a walk-through space tunnel illuminated by a glow-in-the-dark night sky, the highlight of the science museum located within La Raza station (lines 3 and 5).


Viveros (line 3), a station named for the nearby nursery, is in full flower: It was recently given a jungle makeover complete with imitation palms, jaguars, and snakes to raise awareness for the preservation of southern Mexico’s Lacandon Rainforest.


Complement your day trip to the pyramids at Teotihuacan with a stop at the Pino Suarez station (lines 1 and 2), where you can see a 650-year-old pyramid dedicated to Ehecatl, the Aztec god of wind. Tens of thousands of users go through the station daily, making the pyramid one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. (Though it's referred to as Mexico’s smallest archaeological zone, the National Institute of Anthropology and History doesn't consider it a "proper" archaeological zone "due to its size and the fact of being located in a Metro Transport System facility.")


Hidalgo (lines 2 and 3) may be the most miraculous of all of Mexico City’s metro stations: In 1997, someone (possibly a street vendor) discovered a water stain in the shape of the Virgin of Guadalupe in one of its floor tiles. The apparition attracted so many pilgrims that metro authorities eventually had to remove the tile, which is now enshrined just outside one of the exits (follow the signs for Iglesia), near the intersection of Paseo de la Reforma and Zarco. And if you happen to visit this station on the morning of the 28th of any month, you’ll be swarmed with pious commuters carrying figurines of Saint Judas Thaddeus—patron saint of delinquents and lost causes—who is venerated at the nearby San Hipolito Church.


No time to visit the vast National Museum of Anthropology? You can still catch reproductions of Mesoamerican statues at the Bellas Artes (lines 2 and 8) and Tezozomoc (line 6) stops.


miniatures on the Mexico city subway
Randal Sheppard, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Miniature maniacs shouldn’t miss the scale models of Mexico City’s main plaza at the Zocalo stop (line 2). They depict, in tiny form, the metamorphosis of the capital from the Aztec Templo Mayor to the present-day Metropolitan Cathedral. (And bonus points to anyone who can spot the cat who lives in this station.)


The music-themed Division del Norte station’s (line 3) free karaoke corner draws a crowd gathered to watch fellow riders belt out boleros and ballads on their way to work. The unassuming abuelitas laden with bags from the market always have the most impressive pipes.


piano stairs at Polanco station
Victor.Aguirre-Lopez, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Don’t take the escalators at Polanco station (line 7), because the stairs are a giant musical piano keyboard. Finally, here’s your chance to live out Tom Hanks’s piano dance scene from the movie Big.


The Guerrero stop (lines B and 3) is a tribute to the legends of lucha libre, with costume displays and murals dedicated to 45 of Mexico’s finest masked fighters.


The largest bookshop in Latin America can be found in the long passage between the Zocalo and Pino Suarez stations. The underground emporium known as Un Paseo Por Los Libros sells titles from textbooks to manga and also hosts free workshops, lectures, and movie screenings.


murals in the Mexico City subway
Thelmadatter, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Any visitor to Mexico City should check out Diego Rivera’s murals—but on your way, don’t forget to look up at the murals that decorate many metro stations. Particularly impressive are Guillermo Ceniceros’s ambitious chronicles of art through the history of time on the walls at the Copilco (line 3) and Tacubaya stations (lines 1, 7, and 9). On the kitschier side, see how many famous faces you can pick out in Jorge Flores Manjarrez’s I Spy-style mural of pop stars at the Auditorio stop (line 7).


A museum of caricatures located inside the Zapata stop (line 12) is an homage to Mexican cartooning, including plenty of satirical interpretations of the mustachioed revolutionary who gives the station its name.


If Chabacano station (lines 2, 8, and 9) feels unsettlingly familiar, it might be because it was used as a shooting location for the subway chase scene in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Total Recall. Legend has it you can still spot splashes of fake blood on the ceiling.


Museo del Metro de la Ciudad de México
ProtoplasmaKid, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Has this metro adventure turned you into a super fan? Do a deep dive at Mixcoac station’s (line 12) sleek Metro Museum, where you can learn even more fun facts about the subway’s 50 years of history while you wait out rush hour.


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