The Carousel Capital
an ongoing photo series
Binghamton in upstate New York is called the "Carousel Capital of the World" because it has six original carousels within it's city limits. IBM and the world's first flight simulator were invented resp founded there. The writer of "The Twighlight Zone", Rod Serling was born and raised there and so was the current UFC Light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones.
It was voted among the "5 Most Depressing Cities" in the US by Business Insider in 2011. Fox News put it 2nd among their "10 Most Obese Cities in the US" and most recently it was voted the "Most Pessimistic Region in the Nation" by the Gallup polling organization.
With the Cold War coming to a close in the late 1980's, a large portion of the defense-related industries in the area suffered severe cutbacks and closures, with several high-profile sales scavenging many local firms. This was compounded by a large series of layoffs at IBM throughout the early 1990s. As a result, the region went into an economic recession.
From a recent blog post on bupipedream.com:
(...) This town is a shithole. Literally. I would never send my kid to this school for fear of this place. The townsfolk scare me. I’ve had things shouted at me while walking around that can’t be put in print and I’ve seen some things on my walk Downtown that made me want to pour bleach in my eyes.
Tragedy has also hit in recent years. While flooding has been common with Binghamton sitting at the confluence of two rivers, a major flood was able to overcome the city's flood walls and wreak havoc in June 2006, causing millions of dollars in damage. This occurred again in September 2011 as the remains of Tropical Storm "Lee" passed through the region. The city's American Civic Association is the location of the April 3, 2009 shootings, which left 14 dead.
Anthony Fiore writes in his post on bupipedream.com:
Binghamton is like Clint Eastwood’s face. It’s hard to imagine what it must have looked like in its prime, back before the potholes started getting really deep and everything began to turn an ashen gray. But when the light hits it at just the right angle, it shines with a certain rugged beauty.
Photographed from 2012 - 2015