The Great Mistake Lurking in "Don’t Stop Believin’’

The song by Journey came out thirty years ago, but after its initial hit status, "Don't Stop Believin'" got more mileage thanks to the TV shows The Sopranos and Glee. After all this time, I just learned a fact that everyone in Detroit knew all along.
For nearly 31 years, this flash of distracting cognitive dissonance has struck each time Steve Perry's bright tenor lands on the iconic but geographically flawed second line: “just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit." Because, as anyone with a tie to the Motor City knows, South Detroit doesn’t exist, either as a term of art or a geographical locale.

East Side? Sure. It’s where Eminen spent his adolescence. West?* Home to the original Motown Records. Southwest? Best Mexican food in the state. But South Detroit is as fictional as the Shire of Middle-earth.

Even songwriter Perry did not realize that there was no such place until just a couple of years ago. He finally explains how it ended up in the song. Link -via Metafilter

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I grew up in what the article calls 'Downriver' or what would be south of Detroit. (Wyandotte in da hizz-ouse)

Ahem, anyway..

The reason Detroit doesn't really have an area commonly referred to as south is that most of what is geographically the south section of Detroit is very much industrial...steel mills, shipping ports, and an area lovingly referred to as Zugg Island, stuff like that. It does sort of exist, but it's not a place to really be 'born and raised in'. And it's certainly not a place other detroit area people EVER refer to the way people did use the term 'east side', etc.

Now, I would say though, if said person *was* raised in South Detroit...say around Zugg Island...I would definitely think he *really* would be looking forward to taking the midnight train going an-e-where. So, well played there Journey.
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I was thinking, how is it possible that a place doesn't have a south side? Then I remembered, Craggy Island doesn't have a west, it got washed away in a particularly bad storm
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@mrclam I think the song you are referring to would be Kids IN America by Kim WILDE. If you're going to refer to mistakes then it would be a good idea if you didn't make quite so many yourself.

Oh and are you trying to claim that there is no east to California?
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Miss Cellania,

Even when you made your comment, there were several Detroiters who'd made comments.

To the rest of you,

Everyone who does not live there and insists that there must be a South to Detroit, logically, is being willfully ignorant, and there is no reply to that kind of irrational stubbornness. Go to Detroit, book a hotel in South Detroit, and have a wonderful time. Underwater, or in Windsor. Preferably in November. With an endless loop of Journey on your ipod.
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