A Year of Your life in Detroit

Time Magazine bought a house in Detroit and has moved in. One of their reporters committed to spending a year here in Detroit and writing about it for several high profile magazines. His efforts will be relayed in the form of blogs and articles ‘branded’ Assignment: Detroit.

I think it’s great that someone from the outside has taken an interest in our city and wants to learn how we tick and what makes us the community we are. I am glad they bought a house in the city, in the heart of the city. To truly communicate what this city is made of they need to be smack in the middle of things. I applaud them for doing so. I am eager to read the articles as they are published and I want to stay up to date on the blogs.

Detroit will take on this challenge; the challenge of standing up to yet another ‘outsider’ and showing them what we’re all about. The challenge that what is published in the press does not represent the city as a whole. The challenge that while our former mayor has been in the press just about every day for the past few years, it does not define who we are and what we stand for. The challenge of not letting a down economy define our culture and our people. We’ll take on that challenge, and we’ll win. We have to.

So, Steven Gray moved into Detroit and is going to write about it. He’ll highlight the good and the bad. He’ll talk about the people, the music, the art and the food. He’ll talk about the burned out houses and the murders. He’ll talk about local neighborhoods banding together to rise above the bad. He’ll talk about our schools and our politicians.

And then, he’ll go back to his home. But we’re still here. We are still here amid all those things that Steven wrote about. And what happens then? We save the Time Magazine articles for our kids to read and say that we remember when?

Not this time. This time we take action. Perhaps we needed an outsider to come in and really let us see Detroit without the rose colored glasses that some of us are told we have on. Perhaps we needed Steven to buy a house here (did he have any trouble financing, or did Time buy it?). I’d really like him to try to live off unemployment benefits while he is living here. To go from what his current salary is to unemployment benefits? Now, that would be interesting to read about! Let’s see if he can manage like we had to.

So, welcome to our city. Enjoy our food and our music. Go to The Henry Ford (Dearborn) and Parmenter’s Mill & Winery (Northville) and Eastern Market and listen to music at St. Andrews or the Fillmore Detroit. Visit Slow’s BBQ and get a taste of the food we love. I hope you’re here in the summer to experience events at Hart Plaza (Fireworks, Arab and Chaldean Festival, Caribbean Festival, African World Festival, Detroit International Jazz Festival, Mega March for Animals, just to name a few) and in the winter to see the Wayne County Parks Lightfest. I hope you’re here in the spring to watch our Red Wings on parade. I hope you get to have the experiences that the rest of us have here in Detroit and that this city becomes the home to you that it is to us.

Welcome to Detroit, Steven. Welcome to our home.

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