Back on Georgia Street, I tell Mark that I don’t want this story to be relentlessly downbeat, but that the urban cancer that has seized Detroit, and his neighbourhood particularly, seems so advanced I’m wondering why he and his friends don’t just admit defeat and leave. But Mark sees something I can’t amid the fire-gutted houses and empty, snowbound streets. “I was raised by a village, not just by my Mom and Dad. My Daddy was in jail one time and I got a whooping because one of the neighbours had told him I’d been up to no good. We’d gotten away from that, but this past year everyone’s buying into it again. It’s about rebuilding a community. Last June, a guy who grew up under me was killed. I heard his mom say she couldn’t afford the funeral. In two days we’d raised fifteen hundred dollars for her. It brought tears to my eyes.”

The American car industry has remade itself, at Detroit’s cost. Detroit, from the mayor to Mark, has plans to do the same. It will struggle to call itself Motown; few of those jobs will come back. But on this corner at least, a sense of community has. Mark hopes the mayor will notice, and not cut Georgia Street off. As we talk, and as if to prove the point, his childhood friend Pete shuffles out of a house I thought was boarded up, and starts shovelling the snow from a sidewalk no-one walks down.