|James Scott Memorial Fountain: Belle Isle|
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.
5. 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.
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