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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  • 1

    Thanks Darrell,

    You have been great and it is so sad to see Time allow this to end... a huge mistake in my book.

    Where else can people converse on important topics without being edited out by someone with an agenda which actually might be contrary to the best interests of the city.

    No matter how old you are there is always more to learn. Because of Megan I actually know more about Beyonce and JayZ, Usher and others than I really care to, but have to admit that it was great fun at times.

    It was exceedingly disappointing to see that the Press did not grasp the huge scandal of what has happened to the Detroit Schools. And it has caused me to realize that Architecture and Construction are difficult to explain to people who have not spent a large part of their lives involved with it. It is complex but it is scandalous nevertheless. Kwame is a piker in comparison.

    It is also disappointing to see that the driven effort by the Republicans to ruin everything seems to have some foothold. How on earth can this possibly happen except that they never stopped jawjacking their evil philosophies which belie the truth.

    It seems that we missed talking more about Detroit Works and I think that this is going to be a marvelous effort and it sure got off to a great start.

    Time will miss out on this and pump such tripe as the 50 worst automobiles of all time... they were way off.

    And the beautiful pictures of abandoned buildings really distort the view of Detroit... those are beautiful art and a very small part of the City.

    If you look at the population curve you will see that the loss has leveled out and if some smart moves are taken the City will flourish in ways that few can imagine now.

    I worked on America's most important Room in Philadelphia and several of my drawings are prizes.
    While living there we lived in a 14' wide townhouse with winder stairs. Next door there was a young black mother pumping out kids and my room mate didn't want me playing with her kids. I did and then looked at my hairy arms and noticed some lice... scary for me at that time.

    But if you go back to Philadelphia now, this is the most posh and upscale neighborhood imaginable and the City really took off and became magnificent.

    I see the same thing happening here in Detroit. While there really has been no blog about the wonders of Lafayette Park we are being inundated with all sorts of young professionals and there is a new upbeat excitement. Who'd a thunk that LP, America's first Urban Renewal Project would be so successful and a really neat place to live.

    The horrible vector established By Robert Bobb will continue with many wonderful schools being ruined and rebuilt in a shoddy and noncreative way. In many ways this, along with the abusive treatment of some very committed and caring teachers will be the crime of this Century. Nothing quite like involving fourth raters.


    • 1.1

      Dear Darrell,

      As a former Detroiter living now in Germany I wish to thank you for your service to this blog and Detroit during the past year. I have always tried to stay informed and intune with Detroit. I found your blog this past year to be the perfect thing to do just that.

      Just like the others have said I will miss this daily email in my in box.

      Good Luck in all you do and remember to keep spreading the word, I am telling the Germans you know and they love Detroit like me.


  • 2


    Much respect for you from my spot in the universe... Thanks for being the conduit of some of the best urban political, social and cultural writing and insights I have encountered in many moons...

    But for you I would have abandoned this spot long time ago....I also appreciate you allowing me to trespass and bring my drama to your space..

    I am looking forward to reading your words over @ MLIVE..I was truly offended when they brought Jeff on over given his angst and contempt for lots of things Black and from the city...


    Greg Thrasher

  • 3

    Darrell......Thanks for your part of the Detroit Blog.
    I have enjoyed reading your postings. I have not always been on your side. However, you do cause people to at least think about things.
    The school closings are dear to my heart. I went to a lot of the ones that are now closed. Hosmer is one of my old schools. Ives, burned down years ago.
    I was very happy to hear the news when Carstens was spared from the padlocks and bulldozers. I graduated from that one.
    So, Darrell, take care. I will miss this blog.
    I'll look for you on MLive. It is one of the few sites I stil use.

    From one Carstens Grad, to another.

    Detroit Kid 51

  • 4

    Mr. Dawsey,

    It has been a pleasure. I appreciated the way you respectfully disagreed when you did, as opposed to some of the less civilized things that took place here in the past year. We all learned from this experience and I am glad for the spotlight on the "D". Now only if TIME would just stop putting links to "See pictures of Detroit's Beautiful, Horrible Decline" in stories that have nothing to do with the accompanying article, I would appreciate that!

    Peace to all, and please disagree respectfully with one another.


  • 5

    Mr. Dawsey, I will miss you and the team. Your writing has been magnificent and I don't know what I'll do w/ this void in my day not reading this blog (although of course I'll follow you on mlive). I just relocated back to the area after a long absence and despite a few bumps in the road, it is almost as if I've never left, and I've never loved this city more. I just wish more people could take off their preconceived notion glasses and enjoy what we have here. It is a truly amazing place to be.

  • 6

    I'm so sad! I LOVE this blog and all of the hard work you guys did. I learned so much and have done so many new great things because of what you all posted!

  • 7

    Thank you Darrell for you insightful opservations and great writing. Time's Assignment Detroit helped me to understand the power of the "blogosphere" I am glad to know where to find you in the future. All the best...

  • 8

    Well Spoken and Well Done DD...

    I haven't always agreed with you - but have always respected you and have appreciated your desire to have Detroit become a better place...

    Thanks for caring - and thanks for sharing!

  • 9

    Lord knows I disagreed with you on some issues, but we all know that you were the true light, spirit and conscience of the Time Detroit project.

    From the funny links to "Good Times" to your sober analysis of reinventing Detroit, you kept it real.

    I - and the real believers - will follow you wherever you go!

    "We're tighter than pantyhose two sizes small!"

    See ya soon!

  • 10

    Godspeed Darrell, thanks for a fascinating year.
    Good luck!

  • 11


    It has been enlightening to read your thought provoking posts and the responses from my fellow Detroiters. I think this experiment by Time showed me that there are plenty of people who are passionately committed to making this place a better place to live.

    What will become of Time's coverage of Detroit? I'm hoping that the powers that be at the home office realize that Detroit is Ground Zero in the battle to rebuild ubran America and will not just relegate this little experiment to a shelf in some executive office. Unknowingly perhaps, Time has discovered that urban America isn't dead and that the problems their readers care, employment, "green" technologies, etc. ....are going to be solved here and in other struggling cities. The future of our cities and yes, Detroit, IS the future of America. I hope they'll keep watching us and spreading the word.

  • 12

    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,


    The best thing is, you don't have to leave :)

  • 13

    Love the blog! Great story of success. And I like how your Avalon T-Shirt made its way into there. As a fellow Detroit journalist who's found success on a national scale, I can say that there's plenty that the city has to offer. I think people in Detroit are more down to Earth and value style and substance over a cheap buck.

    And for those interested in Detroit, I continue to run DetroitChic ( an entertainment/culture blog with an interest in Detroit life. At this point it's a pet project and plays second fiddle to my "real" writing job, but if any readers are interested in contributing articles or have story ideas, let me know.

    Senior Editor
    DailyTech LLC
    Detroit Chic

  • 14

    Congratulations to the FEDs on a Difficult Job Well Done!

    Nice to see so many black crooks going to jail, but where are the white crooks?
    Was Monica Conyers truly the Kingpin-Boss of the Detroit-Wayne County Crime Family?

    Rick Synder, Dave Bing, Robert Bobb, were wealthy men BEFORE serving in public office and very different from thieves like Mike Duggan Art Blackwell Robert Ficano and Bernard Kilpartick

    Ficano is the last UnderBoss standing, stealing every-dime every-time from Arabic Business Owners. His civic fund is larger than the fund Kwame had. Anyone who contributes more than $10, 000 to FicanoPac gets a nice fat nobid government contract

    Ficano is white. Kilpartick is black.
    Pigs get fat. Hogs get slaughtered.
    Ficano is a PIG in every sense of the word

    Lets hope the FEDs dont forget to take out of the white trash too..even the midget troll hiding at the DMC

  • 15 Jordan Dunbar Photography is a Central PA & State College Wedding, Portrait, and Event Photographer

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