This morning I took pictures of a local public garden and my city’s downtown. I hadn’t photographed Town Square in several years, and I had mixed feelings about revisiting it. Early in my photography habit, I frequented this area, hoping to capture why I feel so attached to a locale that is in decline. I took lots of pictures showing rust and various brands of misfortune, but I did not succeed in showing why I love this place. To reveal one’s attachment to a place is just as hard as taking a portrait of someone you love. To lay bare that core of feeling in a single, two-dimensional moment is very hard to do.
My city is one of many Rust Belt towns finding its way in a post-industrial economy. Earlier this year, a portion of Town Square was demolished to make way for the construction of a nursing school downtown (more specifically, this will be a relocation of some of the health programs at Rhodes State University). Where once was a row of Gilded Age buildings is now a field:
I hope that this partnership between Rhodes and my city is fruitful.
Today I took basic, well-saturated landscape photos of the downtown area. In the light of a summer morning, the downtown looks free of the lost fortunes that seem to haunt it at times.