I moved to Battle Creek in 1990 with my parents. I was 10 years old, and my dad had moved for a new engineering job at a power plant. It was challenging to move to a new city where I didn't know anyone.
Battle Creek, MI is a lot smaller than other cities that I had lived in. It didn't have a lot of large skyscrapers, busy highways, or extensive industry. Since a lot of people who live in Battle Creek worked in automotive manufacturing, the city took a huge hit during the downfall of the American automobile.
Battle Creek does have some redeeming qualities. While it doesn't offer the glamour or excitement of larger cities, it does provide a great place to raise a family. While it isn't next to the Great Lakes, my father was able to rent a sailboat to take out on the weekends. We'd travel across miles of Lake Superior, always losing site of the shore.
I've had a love/hate relationship with Battle Creek all my life. While I spent 10 years of my life there, I don't know if I'd like to return. It's a good place to raise a family, but there are limited opportunities for people there. I live in Atlanta now, where I work as a mechanical engineer at a fabrication facility. I still visit my parents every year in Battle Creek, but I've noticed that the city has begun to fall apart. Many homes in Battle Creek are in foreclosure or have boarded windows. While crime is low, I'd imagine all the empty homes are going to cause increased squatting and theft in future years.
While Battle Creek was at one time a great city, it has fallen on hard times.