(Editor-at-Large Walter Wasacz writes a weekly column on life in Hamtramck.)
By Walter Wasacz
Late last month, I was given the privilege of managing the editorial team at the web-based, Detroit-centric magazine Model D, a publication I’ve been writing and editing for since 2005.
I re-introduced myself — it seems in this business, if you’ve done it long enough, introductions become a part of the job description — in a short piece that I’ll excerpt here. Why? Well, it gives you, Review readers, a chance to get to know me, and my focus, even better.
It also gives me a chance to re-enforce this: that part of my mission as a writer/editor continues to consider all things Hamtramck. I do it in Model D — along with other neighborhoods and business districts in Detroit — and will continue to do it here in Street Life. Read it for yourself below: I’m not going anywhere soon. We’re in this thing together.
Here are a few key points from my piece. You can find it in its entirety at www.modeldmedia.com
So where does the editorial future of Model D begin?
Humbly, it begins with yours truly, whose love affair with this fledgling webzine started the summer of its launch. That would be 2005, when I began a contributing relationship with stories about Detroit’s “global vibe,” which still has traction because, well, it’s authentic and true. Detroit is an international brand of power and influence, a city of innovation now in its fourth century. I’m still amazed when people don’t get it. That message will be a sub-text for a lot of what we do rolling forward.
I see Detroit as a crucial part of the American nervous system, a live wire of endless opportunity and, for an editor, a place of rich content that can’t be bought. I believe it. I live it. That’s why I’m here.
I set my standards high and push the production envelope with vigor. But I also know it has to be fun, as I hope is revealed in the FilterD section I helped launch and have nurtured over the past three years. My title was editor at large, which meant I got a chance to do nearly everything. The best compliment I can receive from anyone is that the passing of the baton will be largely imperceptible. We worked as a strong team, and a strong team we will remain.
Our focus is on real place and real people: doers, makers, builders choosing Detroit for its assets, seeing the promise, cultivating creative energies and new economies, being here out of choice. Community engagement and participation in neighborhood life are more than just tags to me. That’s where the future begins. That’s where we’re headed.
Just a few more words about me and I’ll disappear into the electronic ether and begin putting together this week’s issue.
My career passions come together at the intersection of culture and community. Since 2004, I’ve written a music column for the Metro Times called “The Subterraneans,” I’m also a staff writer for XLR8R in San Francisco and have contributed features and reviews to magazines in Berlin, London, New York and Los Angeles. All of that is possible, by the way, because I am based here. I found editors and publishers in media centers around the world to have a keen interest in our creative ecosystem. They never tire in how we roll.
In Hamtramck, where I live and work, I launched columns called “Eye on Culture”, “Sidewalking” (both for the Citizen) and “Street Life” for The Review. In all cases, what I call the theater of the real — what’s happening now to quicken the pulse, or advance the quality of community life — has been my subject.
At Model D, all my passions are given over. I am privileged to be your guide for what I believe could be a journey into the best years of our lives.