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I was born in Detroit, but I am not “from” Detroit. I did not even grow up in Detroit, in fact; I was raised in Los Angeles for 12 years after living all over the country, and have spent over ten years in New York. But I am a born Detroiter. Right there, on my passport and on my birth certificate, it will read until the day I die: “Detroit, Michigan.”

My dad immigrated to Detroit from Seoul, Korea to attend graduate school at Wayne State University. I was born at Grace Hospital, later Harper Grace, and now Harper-Hutzel, part of the Detroit Medical Center. I have no recollection of living there, since we left for Long Island when I was three. I didn’t return for over 25 years.

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