See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Dealing with tragedy 

Last Wednesday as our annual Fallguide was being delivered, we greeted its arrival with a sense of discomfort. We had sent it to the printers on Monday night; by the time it returned, terrorism had slammed into the nation and its consciousness on a level few Americans had ever contemplated — or could have. Between Monday and Wednesday, the world changed.

This week, we survey some of those changes, indistinct as their outlines may be. Frequent contributor John Smock, who lives in New York, took our cover photo on Wednesday, a couple blocks north and west of the World Trade Center, where several cars had been towed. Flowers were being placed on impromptu memorials all over the city, and someone had scrawled in the ashes on a car one question that gnaws at us all: Why? It was “surreal,” “mind-numbing,” “unsettling,” John told us.

Also on the site this week: Columnists Jack Lessenberry and Keith A. Owens grapple with the politics and rage of the aftermath. Loose Lips columnist Sarah Klein reports on a city cautiously going on with a major festival. In a piece from the Nation, Jonathan Schell, the author of The Fate of the Earth, hears a wake-up call to dangers Americans have been ignoring since the end of the Cold War. [Please note that Mr. Schell's commentary will open in a new browser window.]

And Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette sorts through the conflicting emotions as we try to make sense of tragedy — and the emphasis here is on including points of view that are being downplayed or ignored in the mainstream media.

Like you, we are trying to fathom what still seems in many way unfathomable. We’ll look for your thoughts and comments to inform us as we go forward in this uncertain new world.

Partnership with Crain’s

Beginning this week, visitors to the Web sites of Crain’s Detroit Business and Metro Times will discover a new synergy between the two institutions. Visitors to Crain’s at will find the popular Metro Times restaurant reviews. Meanwhile, visitors to Metro Times’ site will find breaking news about local business. Each site will include “stickers” directing users to the other site’s regularly updated content.

“Our two weekly newspapers have a long tradition of serving specific niche information needs,” said Crain’s associate publisher Mary Kramer.

“Users of our Web site have a voracious appetite for news, and Crain’s provides need-to-know business news in this market,” said Metro Times publisher David Jost.

W. Kim Heron is Metro Times interim editor. Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit