Today marks the four-year anniversary of the Corner Side Yard. That makes this as good an occasion as any to reflect on the past, present and future of this blog.
Many of you may know that I got my start by writing a piece on land use planning reasons that fueled Detroit’s decline that was published by friend and colleague Aaron Renn at his Urbanophile site. It was then, firmly in middle age, that I realized that I had a voice regarding cities. I realized that I had a unique perspective on cities that was not being heard, and I seized the opportunity to speak out. I started this blog exactly one day after publication in the Urbanophile site.
Since then, my goals and expectations for this blog have shifted frequently. It’s been a forum for personal research projects on urban issues. It’s been a place where I’ve called into question many widely held beliefs about cities, and discussed anticipated trends. And it’s been a place where I’ve tried to articulate at least one Rust Belt black man’s thought process on what’s going on.
Since starting this blog, I’ve averaged about 5-10 posts per month over four years. My work was fueled by a burning desire to get my voice out there on cities. And it would be foolish of me not to admit that I saw the blog as an avenue that could lead to some other type of role for me regarding cities — possibly research or policy, maybe publishing, or something else.
A few things have happened over the last couple of months. First, the thoughts and ideas simply don’t come to me as easily as they used to. My personal and professional responsibilities are preventing me from devoting the time I used to devote to the blog. But even more importantly, I’m feeling as if the passion is waning, that perhaps I’ve come close to the ceiling in terms of where this blog can go, and that maybe there are no other avenues this blog can take me.
So for the time being, I’ve decided to put the blog on hiatus. I’m not ending it by any stretch. I’m not “suspending” it the same way failing presidential candidates “suspend” their campaigns. My guess is that I’ll spend the next 4-6 weeks reflecting on this blog and possible next steps. After that period is up, I’ll maybe pick up where I left off, or let people know of my next steps.
In the meantime, I’d welcome your thoughts, questions and comments. Please feel free to comment here in the comments section, or feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I might not be writing blog posts but I will certainly be looking and responding to your thoughts.