Aside from the fact that I currently reside in Bay City, I really do love this town. It was once a major player in Michigan economics only to be hit hard from the 60’s to the mid 90’s in terms of loss of jobs (ship yards all closed up, GM closings, etc…) and is currently going through some major restructuring and growth in terms of building and jobs. And while it is rather unfortunate that homelessness seems to be on the rise (I’ve talked with many of the homeless and they have mostly came here from surrounding cities due to it being a bit safer of a place), they are at least (for the most part) some pretty decent people, many of them having part time jobs, just not enough work for an actual home. That said, it’s also a pretty damn cheap place to live with studios close to downtown as low as $300 a month.
That said, there are a great deal of interesting structures around town to explore, one being what is referred to as “The Alkali” that was once a chemical processing facility built in the late 1800’s and destroyed in the late 1920’s. For the most part, the ruins of the buildings have been left and has become quite rainforest-like. It’s a grate place for relaxing or playing paintball.
To answer the question a bit more directly:
I photograph Bay City because there is a lot of beauty that people just refuse to see. It is easy to see ugly when all of your friends tell you something is ugly. Like an unpopular kid in grade school: Perfectly fine person to hang out with, but because the “cool” kids look down on said person, you start to as well.
If other’s could only see the beauty, the interest, the value… Then things could more readily change for the better.
I don’t know if I’m having the desired effect on everybody, but as time goes on, I find better ways to highlight the good and the bad.
Thank you for your question.