"Where are you from?" asks a stranger on an airplane. It's a common first step in getting to know someone, especially when you're travelling.
"Detroit," you answer.
"Oh, Detroit, you say? Whereabouts, exactly? I love Detroit and know all of its neighborhoods."
"Well...er...I'm from Grosse Pointe Park, actually. It's an east side suburb of Detroit."
"Oh, I see..." says the stranger, putting on her headphones and raising her IPad, effectively ending all communication between you and her for the rest of your flight together.
But it doesn't have to be this way! Or at least that's what a recent article from CityLab entilted "Why You Shouldn't Mock Suburbanites Who Say They're From the City"
"We need to allow for more wiggle room," write CityLab's Laura Bliss and Sam Sturgis. "Why? First, it no longer makes sense to generalize the experience of the 'actual city' as radically more heterogeneous than, or separate from, life in a suburb or exurb."
This of course raises the question, "Are all of us who live in this metropolis 'from Detroit?' And what does it mean when we build a barn
between one municipality and another?"
Read more in CityLab.