Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

'Your Papers, Please' Coming to Canada and Mexico

12. April 2005 • MarkDilley
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One of the frustrating things about SE Michigan is that Ann Arbor and Detroit culture don’t mix very well. What I mean by that is folks from Detroit find it hard to come to anything in Ann Arbor and folks in Ann Arbor find in near impossible to make it to events in Detroit. With these new regulations, one of the few draws of going to Detroit, easy access to Winsor, Ontario, is slated for elimination. Disgusting. So hurry and explore Detroit, it is a wonderful border town which especially looks wonderful from Windsor. 20 months left, because starting December 31, 2006:

[I]t will require U.S. citizens to show a passport to re-enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Panama. Canadian citizens will also have to show their passport to enter the U.S.

via Talking Points

> reappropriate, ramblings of an angry little asian girl: The Canadian Border



  1. Umm… you have to show it on the way out, so you’ll have it with you anyway. It doesn’t seem like that big of a hassle.

    “one of the few draws of going to Detroit, easy access to Winsor, Ontario”

    Oh yeah, that’s the ticket. Windsor is a smaller, duller version of Detroit. What’s worth seeing there? Anything they have is in Detroit in more abundance and with easier access (entertainment, museums, culture, bars, and even casinos if that’s your bag).

    Yawn.
       —Brandon    Apr. 12 '05 - 03:01PM    #
  2. Unless you’re 19…
       —Scott    Apr. 12 '05 - 04:30PM    #
  3. Brandon, you seemed to have missed the point. People will have to buy a passport, unlike people who have the luxury to travel the world exploring IKEA.

    Windsor has foot traffic, unlike Detroit, so your flippant remarks on the subject don’t hold much water.

    Please, cover your mouth when you yawn.
       —Mark    Apr. 13 '05 - 06:05AM    #
  4. I’m with Mark on this one, Brandon – check Windsor’s percent-vacant land before calling it a smaller, duller version of Detroit. Michigan undergrad-oriented it may be, in large part, but it is also a real, functioning town. My past couple of excursions there have been for dinner & Canadian bowling (five slender pins, bocce-sized ball) and to watch the Detroit fireworks from the Windsor waterfront (better backdrop from that side). The permeable border is also nice for car travel to upstate New York or anywhere in New England.

    Of course, what would be really nice is if you could take Amtrak to Detroit, then get on a train in Detroit for Toronto, Montreal, or Boston. Currently, there’s a several mile dead zone between Amtrak and the Windsor Train station. Allowing the Canadian trains to cross the river would encourage activity around the Detroit station, from people wandering around during the hour between trains. (Or looking for a place to stay the night after Amtrak gets them to Detroit 3 hours late and they miss their connection. :) ) Freeway car travel doesn’t encourage the same sort of stop-on-the-way that train connections do.
       —Murph    Apr. 13 '05 - 10:09AM    #
  5. Murph, I agree. I’ve taken the train to Toronto a couple of times, and it would have been great to get on at the Detroit station.
       —tom    Apr. 13 '05 - 11:32AM    #
  6. Windsor is roughly one-tenth the population of Detroit, but if I recall correctly, it has something like 50 times as many Asian and Indian restaurants as Detroit.

    You want dim sum or something, it’s easy in Windsor, scarce in Detroit.
       —Larry Kestenbaum    Apr. 13 '05 - 11:46AM    #
  7. Now you need photo id and a birth certificate or a passport. And if you have photo id and a birth certificate, they hassle you about the passport.
    While I like Windsor fine, I agree with the yawn.
    Get yourselves passports, folks. You should have ‘em anyway, if only because everyone should leave the country at least once.
       —js    Apr. 13 '05 - 02:08PM    #
  8. I’ve been to Windsor, and have never found it worth the border crossing. Other than under-21 drinking, can someone truly tell me something I can do there that I can’t do in metro Detroit or Ann Arbor? Detroit gets all the good shows, has the big museums, and has plenty of bars. Ann Arbor has everything else, including foot traffic, and there is plenty o’ stuff scattered around the suburbs if need be. Downtown Windsor reminds me of downtown Grand Rapids, but slightly less glamorous. It’s fine, but not worth the trouble.

    In any case, I find the comment about access to Windsor being one of the “few draws of going to Detroit” at best laughable and at worst offensive.
       —Brandon    Apr. 13 '05 - 06:02PM    #
  9. Frankly, there’s so much to do in Hamtramck and Detroit that I rarely consider leaving town for any reason. In Hamtramck over the next three weeks, Bollywood actors will be at Hamtramck High, 700 kites will be flown in Veteran’s Memorial Park, 6 bars will participate in the Motor City Music Conference, and St. Florian is having their 35th annual Strawberry festival. Driving anywhere seems like such a hassle when there’s always something going on in the neighborhood.

    “Windsor has foot traffic, unlike Detroit”

    All of Detroit isn’t Merchants Row! Mexicantown, Cass Corrider, Hamtramck… all walkable neighborhoods. A large number of people in Detroit can’t afford cars. I see people walking on McNichols with groceries all the time, as crazy as that seems.

    “You want dim sum or something, it’s easy in Windsor, scarce in Detroit.”

    For what Detroit lacks in dim sum, it far surpasses Windsor in shish kebobs and singaras.
       —Hillary    Apr. 14 '05 - 12:08PM    #
  10. And ribs. And pierogi. Mmmm…
       —Scott    Apr. 14 '05 - 02:09PM    #
  11. Mmm, Hamtramck. I wonder if they need any planning interns for the summer… we’re cheap labor, after all.
       —Brandon    Apr. 14 '05 - 02:50PM    #
  12. Hillary, you and I know that there are many neighborhoods and gems to enjoy in Detroit.

    Are people from outside the city going to go hang out on McNichols though? I am speaking of the foot traffic of people enjoying city life, resturants, theater, etc.

    Heck the things you are talking about are awesome. How many people from Ann Arbor will be there? In fact how many people will be there from this metropolitan area of nearly 5 million.

    I love Detroit, I have lived half my adult life in the city and then a good chunck of the rest in Ann Arbor. People in Ann Arbor, students, go to Windsor as often as they do to Detroit. If folks are in Detroit, they are driving to each place that they are going to.

    If this is differnt than other peoples experience of others enjoying Detroit. I will stand to be corrected.
       —Mark    Apr. 15 '05 - 12:57AM    #
  13. An article in today’s Detroit News says that Bush may back off on the passport rule.
       —tom    Apr. 15 '05 - 12:49PM    #
  14. Mark: I think most of Detroit’s problem is that people don’t know about good things in the city until they’re about to close. The organized media focuses on big commercial things, like Compuware and Ren Cen, without talking about the hundreds of family businesses and community events happening every weekend.

    If you’d like to see cheap housing near groceries, services, and shopping on crowded sidewalks, please drop me an e-mail and we’ll have lunch. I don’t have a car, so we’ll have to meet in Hamtramck :)
       —Hillary    Apr. 15 '05 - 02:35PM    #
  15. Hillary,

    I think we both agree that people don’t know how fricken cool Detroit is! So I would like to move on to another topic.

    Your cool website

    One of the things that strikes me as a good tool is your “next page” and “previous page,” it gives me the feel of a newspaper, turning through it. I would like to see that here at Arbor Update, post to post…
       —Mark    Apr. 15 '05 - 04:33PM    #
  16. thanks, Mark. I like “next page” too. Really helps when digging through archives.
       —Hillary    Apr. 17 '05 - 12:57AM    #
  17. Mark & Hillary: just for y’all, I’ve delved into the unfamiliar land of Textpattern tags and stuck next/previous links at the bottom of the page. (See below. . .) That’s as adventurous as I’m going to get for the moment; I’ll let Scott find a better place to put the links.
       —Murph    Apr. 17 '05 - 08:52PM    #