Early for a lunch date so driving around my old stomping grounds in Windsor with my husband. When I was here in the late ’80s, early ’90s, Windsor was in it’s post-industrial twilight but not exactly fading. It was a great place to live: vibrant, culturally diverse, intimate, and lovely. Really really. Detroit was always there for exploring — concerts, sports, food — but Windsor was smaller and more manageable. The university is almost tucked under the bridge and was an intellectually thriving place. Small liberal arts departments, a pub for grad students with cheap beer, and students from all over the world. I remember long debates about history, politics, theory, and gender. And I remember Windsor very fondly.
Today’s re-visit felt depressing. Time marches on but all we saw today was dilapidation, for sale signs, shuttered stores, and poorly maintained roads. It made me weepy. This rust-belt town seemed to feel showing it’s slip and it wasn’t pretty.
Then we drove away from the university toward a neighbourhood called Walkerville. Biblioasis is a bright shining light on East Wyandotte: [http://www.biblioasis.com]. It is a bookstore run by a publisher who happily stocks their competitors books. I felt so happy in that shop. I spent all my Christmas money on their books — history books by my old professors, a memoir by a local personality, a literary magazine. It felt inspiring and hopeful to be in that abundant space.