Above the Niagara River

— -- Here over the river -- with half of our train over American waters, half over Canadian waters -- is as good a place as any to consider one little-told border story.

The Canadian side here -- like much of Canada's economy -- is booming. High gas prices are actually good news for many in Canada, an oil-exporting nation where the dollar is strong and jobs are growing.

The American side, on the other hand, is struggling. The unemployment rate in the Niagara Falls-Buffalo region is a full point higher than it is nationally, and the decline of the manufacturing sector shows little sign of a turnaround.

Lots of empty factories and overfilled car lots in the region. The biggest sign of life in downtown Niagara Falls, N.Y.: the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino.