I am proud to say I am a girl from the midwest. I'm a girl from Michigan. The Mitt. The Motor City. Motown. And I can't say how important it is to represent my city well at all times.
I have to be clear however. While I claim Detroit is my hometown, I have to admit I come from the suburbs. I was raised in a town called Clinton Township, Michigan. Back in the day, it was referred to as Mount Clemens. While Mt. Clemens is actually a town all its own, this was before the maps had defined Clinton Township to its current distinction.
I grew up on Quinn Road, right off of 15 Mile Road and Gratiot. It was a very nice community with a variety of people from different walks of life. There were business professionals, blue-collar workers and young families everywhere. The type of environment I was raised in was people who cared about the community and had a certain amount of pride about the surroundings.
The thing I love about growing up in this place is the type of love and pride that I still have for this neighborhood. Many of my friends and family still live in my hometown with families and new accomplishment all their own. I still refer to it as "Growing Up on 15 Mile." While Eminem's movie "8 Mile" showed the love he has for Detroit, it's the best way I can describe my love for "15 Mile." There is only about seven miles that separate Detroit from my beloved Clinton Township and many true Detroiters say that they are worlds apart. I disagree. The similarities are much more apparent than the differences. I went to church in Detroit every Sunday and have a full knowledge of what life was like in the D. And from what I can recall, but places have a sense of pride and purpose and love of community.
Now that I have moved away to New York of all places, I still have a special place in my heart for 15 Mile, Quinn Road and Motown.