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The Assignment Detroit drinking game

Hey -- have fun while reading the blog!

A local Web site, Dyspathy, recommends a new drinking game for every Detroit cliche that we mention. Cruel yet cool.

Check it out

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    "Cruel, yet cool."... and also kinda true. The Assignement Detroit team will soon discover that many of the themes being discussed here have been touched upon by the media many times in the past... to little effect.

    The painful reality is that so many people are compelled to tell a "story" about this city, and in the telling of that story so often miss what's really going on.

    An example: I don't believe that Dyspathy is asking us to take a drink whenever Detroits' lack of a "national grocery chain' is mentioned, but it should. Yes, this story is a compelling one, but it belies the fact that Detroit is actually filled with dozens of independently owned neighborhood groceries. (A point that other cities might spin into a positive story.) True, some of these stores are the pits, but many of them would be the envy of any city. (At least any city that I've lived in)

    You see, the real story isn't whether or not Detroit gets a Kroger. The real story is that Detroit needs more successful neighborhood grocers. So many people in this city do not have access to a car. Without a car, you cannot do the kind of grocery shopping that national chains require in order to survive. (i.e. filling up your trunk with a month's worth of food) Detroit grocery shopping must be done on foot, by bus, or on bike within one's own neighborhood.

    There are some who are trying to remedy this fact. The Capuchins and Gleaners have long been a source of fresh food in the city, and their Earthworks Garden (drink!) is a nationally recognized stalwart of urban agriculture. They've created a city wide initiative called the Garden Resource Program that puts seeds and plant starts in the hands of Detroiters so that they may grow their own food. Similarly, Eastern Market (one of the great urban market districts in the country) recently piloted a program that brings fresh produce onto neighborhood corners for people to buy. These are creative organizations, and both would benefit greatly from larger exposure (and an influx of donations), but rarely does the media share the details because they often do not fit into the "story".

    I realize that Time is trying to get past this, and I commend you on your efforts so far. But the reality is that so much needs to be told beyond the standard Detroit story arc, and Dyspathy is doing its best to cut through the bull.

    We've got 11 1/2 months to go on this project. Keep up the good work, and don't forget the bottle opener.


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