One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

The End or What I Learned This Year

Today is the last day (for me) of Assignment Detroit. And there is so much to say...and nothing more to say.

So much because Detroit's story still needs to be told. I've written thousands of words, but I've barely said anything. I've told stories, profiled leaders, shared my life. But nothing has truly conveyed what Detroit is -- because we still don't know what's going to happen to this city in decline. (More on See pictures of Detroit's beautiful, horrible decline)

Nothing more to say because I've done all I could to explain my little corner of Detroit. You've been with me throughout this journey, so you know the struggles someone has when they live here. It's ups, downs, middles and more. Every day in Detroit starts with potential and ends in reality. That's all we hope for anymore -- just another day.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I loved the comments, the discussions, the Facebooking, the reTweets! This project would not have been the same without you (especially Bill, Trasher I mean Thrasher...And all of you regulars. You know who you are).

Thank you to everyone who agreed to speak with me for a blog post. Thanks to those who wrote their own! My apologies to those who I talked to and never ended up here -- I blame motherhood, lack of sleep and my own disorganization. I tried my best. Every blog entry was a little piece of me, trying to explain myself and this city. I worked damn hard. I'm so proud of this blog. I think it was a highlight of Assignment Detroit. (More on Read why Time Inc. is in Motown)

I had been in semi-retirement after having kids, and getting this blog got me out there again. Detroit is beautiful. The people are beautiful. The city is a wreck in so many ways, but I just don't care.

Here's what I learned over the past 13 months:

* There is a huge number of people who care about Detroit. That matters.

* There are a bunch of haters. They don't matter.

* We are doing the best we can. Even little improvements count.

Oh, and I learned how much I love living here. And that is worth everything.

If you are outside of this area -- Please keep track of Detroit. Keep us in your prayers. Come visit.

If you live here -- Please invest more time, energy, effort, money, interest. If the story of Detroit hasn't fully been told yet, you still have time to add your paragraph, chapter, section, whatever.

Goodbye. I'll miss talking to you. Good luck.

P.S. Forgot to mention...I'll still be blogging about the city over at the Detroit Regional News Hub for their "Unspun" site. Look for me on Fridays...This pro-Detroit place seems like the right fit for me. Hope to see you there!

See more from TIME's yearlong look at Detroit

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  • 1

    Great work, Karen! Will miss the blog. I wish it could continue. It was so wonderful for Detroit. Never forget The Motor City.

  • 2

    Your heartfelt, inspiring thoroughly reported essays really were a highlight of Assignment Detroit, Karen.

    All 396 of them!

    So when your byline appears elsewhere, as is certain, I'll know what follows will be worth a look.

  • 3

    You did an amazing job telling all the different stories and news happening in Detroit. I will miss reading your posts, but I'm sure your reporting in the city doesn't end here. :)

  • 4

    Karen.....Oh no.....this just can't be The End.
    The Detroit Blog, Assignment Detroit, has become my Main Interest and Information place, for Detroit. Yes, I knew it said "One Year, One City".
    I have abandonded most all of my other sources.
    Almost none have been on my daily list since this blog started.
    This is where I "Heard it First", for a lot of important stuff. How will we be "in the know", without you?
    You, as well as the other Bloggers, have been on the scene for me.
    If this is you, out of semi-retirement, no need to stop now.
    I too, have enjoyed most of the comments from our regulars. There are one or two who would rant and rave no matter what was said, or by whom. Those few, in my opinion, are some of the problem. No united front for Detroit as long as that stuff goes on here. But you have plead a good case for our city.

    Karen.....Thanks so much for your part of my favorite citys' blog.

    A Job Well Done!

    The Detroit Kid 51

  • 5


    No question about it YOU and this new medium has been great for Detroit.

    In many ways far better than the standard Press and far better than any pointed or mispointed story in a mag.

    My perspective would never allow me to call this a City in Decline. In fact I think that it is just the opposite.

    While the effort to save Hudsons was a heartbreak and it was the same for the Graystone Ballroom... The home of the big band sound.

    So it is great to hear that you will be around and I think that TIME mag has not truly gotten what you have provided... an outlet that could never exist in the conventional press.

    They do not know what they are doing by shutting you down.

    But there should be a party somewhere soon for all of us to get together and finally see each other.

    You are a Peach!


  • 6


    Onward and Upward......You have a wonderful spirit..

    Greg Thrasher

  • 7

    A lot of readers including this one appreciate both of your insights regarding the city, its problems, and its potential. You are true professionals. The city has been around now for a bit more than four centuries. The future of this city belongs to our children and grandchildren and we can only hope that they will bring about the changes needed so that Detroit regains its rightful place as a world class city.

  • 8


    It is Thrasher not Trasher I hate typos....You never know if they are......or not

  • 9

    Thanks for all your words! I love the city and this blog. TIME did awesome work!

  • 10


    I'll miss your blog. I haven't read it every day, and certainly haven't commented every day I read it, but there's always been good information in it. Detroit needs more people to believe and say positive things. It needs more people to care and talk about why they care. It needs more people to take an active role, talk in a loud voice, wear their pride on their sleeve, give a damn. You do, and I'll miss all that. Good luck!

    I believe we ARE on our way back. I hope you'll stick around and others will join you to finally tell the good news story of Detroit. As another writer said, onward and us all!

  • 11

    Thank you Karen for all the insights you have shared about our community. I have so appreciated the picture you have often painted that the boundries between Detroit and the suburbs are not big as we sometimes think they are. I have always enjoyed reading your posts and am glad that your observations will live on eslewhere - I have bookmaked it already! All the best!

  • 12

    Thank-you Karen.

    Thank-you TIME

  • 13

    'Every day in Detroit starts with potential and ends in reality. That's all we hope for anymore -- just another day"

    Karen, that one sentence says it all. What else is there to say......and how would you say it?

    Detroit is not a city, it is not made of brick or cement. It is not about murder totals or Devil's Night fires or abandoned buildings. Do you know how it looks when fire has ravaged a forest and turned it to ash, but one little green leaf sprouts up in the middle of all the dark? That is called hope, and that is Detroit.

    Thank you for being here and giving us a voice.

  • 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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