One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

How the Time has Flown...

Did you notice? It's been exactly one year since the blog launched!

Okay, I'll admit it. It turns out it's been one year and three days. For some reason, I thought the blog came about on Sept. 23. Time flies…

What have we learned? What has changed? Did having Time magazine in Detroit mean anything? Does having any media write about Detroit affect the population at all?

We have one more month here – give or take a few days – to tell the story about Detroit's rise, fall, rise, spiral downward, uptick then drop down and (hopefully) rise again. It's been a long story, and there really is no obvious relief in sight.

Here's what I've learned so far.

I love Detroit. This is a city of crazy lovely people doing amazing stuff. I wish I could do half of what some of you are doing every day. I'm impressed.

I'm so happy to be blogging about Detroit. I never blogged before starting this gig (and sometimes, it showed. Sorry about that whole quoting your whole article, Bill Shea. Rookie mistake. And, sorry, Detroit News, for lifting one of your photos once without permission. Another rookie mistake. I appreciate your not suing me to kingdom come.)

Thank you to all of those people who have agreed to interviews or to write blog posts. I'm humbled by your talents and creativity.

Thanks to all the comments you've added to the blog, Dear Readers. Yes, even you GThrasher ;) I read every one of them – believe it. I rush to my computer every few hours just to see if anyone has added their thoughts.

We're about one month away from ending this project – and I don't want it to end. I would do this forever if Time would let me. I think I could post three or four times a day with how much is going on in this city. THERE ARE SO MANY STORIES left to tell. I've blogged almost every day for the past year. I have about 362 blog entries on this "Assignment: Detroit" love fest. And I'm hoping to post even more.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for having me. I'm beyond delighted to have had this experience. I love Detroit, and thank you Time magazine for letting me discover that one day, one blog post at a time.

I leave you with the words that I wrote in my first blog post long ago:

So even if the rest of the world sees our region as a failure, we know better. We know hard work will keep it going. And it will turn around. Just keep watching.

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  • 1

    You have been wonderful Karen!

    Time should not stop... this a venue that is quicker than the press and allows for open, expression.

    Truly Democratic free press.

    If Time cannot see their way to continue, hopefully someone in the Detroit Press industry will see the virtue.


  • 2

    Karen......I love Detroit and this is and has been a great blog.
    You have a view on Detroit that is kind and loving of my city. You have great hopes for Detroit. That is what I really love about you.
    Although it is my first experience in blogging, it is not my last. I have learned some things and I really love this one the best. I don't think life will be the same without this Detroit Blog.
    Islandarc is correct, why not continue the blog?
    It has been on the cutting edge of new and exciting things going on in Detroit.
    The comments are from the very heart of the people who love this city. Each in their own way are a collective view of Detroit and the surrounding areas.
    How can they stop this blog? Not now.
    We need somewhere that we can see that there is concern for the city of our birth, the city of our youth the city of our life.
    Thank You Karen,for all the postings and your love for

    Detroit Kid 51

  • 3


    I thank you for being a positive light shining through the darkness that so often surrounds our community. Hopefully, forums/debates/discussions like these will (one day) help lead us beyond the decades tired us vs them, city vs suburbs, black vs white rhetoric that has stifled this region for far too long. Many community such as Chicago and New York grapple with the same issues but still manage to function - There is no reason that Detroit cannot rise to meet its challenges.

    They say this city will never get back to the population levels it once had. Well, lets see what happens when the southwest runs out of fresh water where the migratory patterns lead. New Mexico tried to divert our great lakes water already. We have assets others crave. Once safety, jobs and education rise up, eyes will open.

  • 4


    The only reason why I visit this site is to read you and DD 's perspectives after the initial debacle of this enterprise that offensively excluded any Black people from having a stake in the rebirth of Detroit you and DD made this site important.

    I am not at all sadden by the good, bad, and ugly discourse that took place on this site, I find such human emotions to be true expressions of this thing we call life.

    As a result of my comments on this blog I got so much feedback from pure hate to respect. I have very little regard and respect for the intergrity of journalism of late it is an excercise that spits out fiction, propaganda, disinformation of American life especially Americans of my hue.

    Karen from my humble perspective you are a splendid writer with a wonderful fresh spirit and center. Your body of work here represents the soul of this region. I am sorry my activism offended you,I have oft forget my moorings when I do what I do....

    Looking forward to reading you in other venues..

    Peace & Love

    Greg Thrasher
    Made in Detroit

  • 5

    Ditto what Bill, the Kid and Kevin say.

    Because you're a graceful storyteller, adventurous explorer and conversational online companion, newbie blogging wasn't showing at all -- honest.

    You've taken us inside a Salvation Army mobile food crew . . . outside an ice house before most of The Media Pack showed up . . . introduced us to the essential Becks Davis . . . and last week shared a peek at your circle of GP parents where dads "get accused of 'undressing' moms with their eyes."

    So here's another vote from a reader who hopes the mothership keeps this part (and Darrell's) of Assignment Detroit alive.

  • 6


    I was just thinking the other day how it's been a year since Time bought their house and moved in. I wondered if your clan is now eager to leave or would try to find a reason to stay a little longer. I hope you pick the latter. I wish I had the time to list all the things I love about Assignment Detroit, but the most important one is the fact that you invested a whole year of your life in this city, and your aim was to help, not just to use it for a cover shot and leave.

    I don't see why Time can't change it's mind and decide to keep the house and allow your group to stay. You all have become part of our family, it would be sad to see you go.

  • 7

    Thank you sooo much for this blog and I too hope there is a way it can continue. As an ex-Detroiter who still has her heart in this city I loved feeling connected to the city again. Thanks so much for telling the stories of the big D.

  • 8

    "Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus"
    ("We hope for better things, it will rise from the ashes")
    I can't remember a time when Detroit's motto has been more appropriate.

  • 9

    Yes, I think TIME should keep the blog going.

  • 10

    Great post! Awesome blog! I'm so sad you guys will be leaving because I learn something new everyday almost! The city needs this and TIME is doing such an awesome thing!

  • 12

    I started reading this blog in October last year, I thought I knew quite a lot about the United States my initial reaction to reading the blog was how could this be happening followed by how bloody ignorant you are ( me not you ) read and and learn. I work in the marine industry and discovered the blog because we don't call MTU engines MTU engines we call them Detroits in New Zealand. I hate that this blog is comming to an end but I am grateful that Time decided that this was a worthwhile project. I blog on MySpace and one of the first blogs I did was inspired by this blog

    "Time magazine bought a house in Detroit and sent in reporters to cover the city's decline and there has been no shortage of bad news for "Assignment Detroit" to cover."

    I wrote that last November but even then you guys were reporting on the human spirit that I have come to love about your city

    "A small sign of hope and I love to hear about guys like this, Mike Coington lost his job so decided to clean up his Georgia Street neighbourhood he planted vegetable gardens and asked his neighbours to pick them for free to put food on their plates. Local youths practiced in vandalism have not touched his gardens he has done a lot of other things but can't get a bank loan to do more "We just can't get a loan to help us out. The banks are not lending".

    "!@#$ you American banks infact !@#$ the whole American military industrial complex.

    President Obama taxation is not a bad thing Detroit is a disaster, tax your rich and build a strong multi cultured middle class."

    My attitude hasn't really changed in a political sense since that blog but my admiration for the people of Detroit has. I am going to miss this blog. One day I will visit America not LA not NY but Detroit.

    • 12.1

      hamishinauckland.........what an awesome post. You never know who is reading this blog and I'm stunned someone from as far away as beautiful New Zealand would be interested in news from this area.
      It's sad that TIME is leaving, but it would be great if we could follow your there a web address for it ?

  • 13

    Hi Karen -

    I can't say I'm an every day reader, but I'm a frequent reader and occasional contributor. Thanks for what you've done, and are trying to do.

    I'm not sure Time's Detroit coverage has been good or bad but I do think it's raised the city's profile. More people are aware of the city's plight and even though they may think we're hopeless (We're not!), at least they're aware that we're trying to do something about it.

    Detroit deserves better than it gets. It has such good people and such great poitential. I believe we'll surprise a lot of people in a positive way and the more people we have like you telling the city's stories, the better. After too many years moving in the wrong direction we're finally heading the right way. Whether it's Time or somebody else, the good word will get out.

  • 14

    Good times, better stories, great blog about our city! The blog was fortunate to have a writer of your caliber and enthusiasm for Detroit at the helm. I'm sad to see it go as it was a great forum to showcase all of the positive things going on in Detroit. However, I know that as the blog vanishes, all of those individuals that believe in Detroit and are doing positive things for the city will still be out there! Thanks for letting me contribute from time to time Karen.

    All the best,
    Steve (Savvy)

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