One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Outta Here

As you all know, today marks the final day of the Assignment Detroit Blog. And while I can hardly believe an entire year has flown by since we started, I know that, as a writer, reporter and Detroiter, I'm richer for the experience. For that, I say, to both TIME and to everyone of you who took a moment to read us here, thank you so very much.

Having spent a lifetime in Detroit, I realize how it easy it can be to think that, as a native, you know everything worth knowing about a place, to believe that it's you who'll do the bulk of the teaching and others who'll spend the majority of the time learning. (More on See “A Day in the Life of Detroit Mayor Bing")

But a year on a project like this has a way of humbling you, of reminding you of just how much you don't know and how much more you need to learn. So thank you, everyone, for the profound and lasting lessons. From the primers on geography and history to the incisive discussions about politics and economics. Thank you for schooling me and so many others on where Detroit has been, where we sit now and, more critically, where we're headed in the future.

Thank you for the frank and often raw discussions about race and class, right and left, new and old, right and wrong. Thank you for cheering me when you thought I was right and for sharing counterpoints when you thought I was wrong.

They weren't always polite, these conversations we sparked. Sometimes, insults were hurled. On occasion, names were called. But at the end of it, I also sincerely believe that some great ideas were exchanged, that folks who might never have a chance to share with one another found a place where they could all weigh in equally to express their passions about Detroit. (More on Read why Time Inc. is in Motown)

Yeah, we carped. We argued. But most importantly, we talked. We shared. And in the end, I believe, our exchanges were the better for it.

Thanks most of all, though, for just being here for the experience. Thanks for showing the nation and world that Detroit is still standing, still breathing, still fighting, still caring. The city that put America on wheels may be dented and worn in spots — but dammit, we're still rolling.

And TIME blog or no, we won't stop until our great American city is back where it's supposed to be.

Love, peace and hair grease, y'all.

P.S. — For those who care, I'll still be stirring up trouble in the blogosphere. After a break to recharge my batteries, I'll be "taking my talents" over to, where I'll be joining folks like my man Jeff Wattrick (the artist formerly known as Woodward's Friend, for all you Dyspathy fans). I'll start either Nov. 15 or Nov. 22, depending on just how much of a charge my batteries need. Keep an eye out. I hope to see all of our regulars over there. And bring a friend.

See more from TIME's yearlong look at Detroit

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