Crossing the border from Windsor to Detroit (going NORTH from Canada to the USA as my American friends always amuse themselves by saying) - what a contrast.
First, they had a bit of a snowfall in this part of the world a couple of days ago. All the streets in Windsor are now cleared; the off-ramp from the Ambassador Bridge to the freeway on the American side is still not completely plowed.
Drive up Woodward Avenue - the equivalent of Yonge Street in Toronto - and I'd estimate over half the store fronts are for sale, for rent, or just boarded up.
It was 'Holiday Season', but apart from one unseen trombone player tootling out Christmas songs, there was not much evidence of celebration.
I had to ship something from the FedEx outlet, right downtown. There were parking spaces everywhere on Woodward - imagine THAT on Yonge Street! - and a modern automatic parking fee machine.
It was out of order.
OK, free parking - Merry Christmas to me!
Still, the FedEx people were cheerful and helpful, as always. Whistling past the graveyard, maybe?
Not that many years ago, Detroit was one of the biggest and most prosperous cities in the USA, largely due of course to the domestic car industry.
After some particularly tough times, the car companies seem to be recovering.
Will Detroit itself share in this recovery?
Many of my friends who live there don't think so.
I hope they're wrong.
But I fear they're right...