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i like rockford

Someone (from Rockford) suggested in the comments that they got the idea that I didn't like Rockford. This is not the case. I actually find Rockford incredibly comforting, but don't think I could live there, and remember pretty vividly how stifled I felt.

Rockford is still the place where my mom is, and that alone makes it pretty nice. It has a pretty homey vibe, and all the familiar childhood places make it nice. When I was a kid it was predominantly locally owned businesses, and as dorky as I thought they were, it was really preferable in retrospect to the attack of the chain stores. There's still some Norwegian and Italian-American vibe there, and now there's even a couple of cool little coffee joints, but State Street is nigh on horrific.

It's not just the fact that there's no decent sushi (there IS decent BBQ, what about Lord and Penix, or Box's BBQ?), or 200+ yard rifle ranges (!).

It just...culture. The average person in Seattle would read Bill's blog, and say "Whoa, nice guy, but dude is smokin' too much FOX news." The average person in Rockford (I'm guessing) would be like, "Now there's a man with some common sense." or even, "goddamn travesty there's no 200 foot rifle range".

What I miss most about Rockford is just that there's a lot of parks that are big and that hardly anyone knows about. State parks, city parks, county parks. So many places to go and walk around where you can't see a skyline. But there's no mountains.

Yeah, I guess that's all I like about Rockford. It's familiar and my Mom and old friends live there. It's like meatloaf. It's comfort food.

But check it, Seattle is so cool. There's like a gazillion day trips to breathtaking locales. No one ever talks about wind chill factor. It's lush and green. There's culture up the ass. Seattle International Film Festival, Third Place Books, Kuan Yin Teahouse, Chop Suey, Hing Loon Seafood Restaurant, Fremont, and so much more. Even if I don't even go to any of those places, I just feel so much better living in a place where I can. The populace seems vibrant and aware. In Rockford every young person seems like a Wal-Mart employee waiting to happen.


Rockford actually has quite a bit of culture. It's just that for some reason most of the people that live here don't seem to give a shit.

NAT & Starlight Theater, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte's Web, there's almost always an art event of some sort going on, although there aren't a ton of them as you mentioned we do have more than one coffee bar now (although annoyingly none of them are open past 9PM), there's the Dance Company, and then you have little aniquated places like Toad Hall, and because of the pseudo-rural location we also get the stuff like the farmer's markets, "pick-your-own" orchards, and so on.

Mind you we're still lacking some stuff (bluesfest, anyone?), but I don't want people thinking that Rockford is like this total void when it comes to culture.

Err, were outside of Chicago, and with everything else in this part of the state, Rockford is predominately liberal/democrat and probably would not appreciate Bill's sense of humor. (Sucks to be them). There are two decent sushi bars in town, not great, but decent. Shogun and JMK Nippons. Okay so they are in a larger restaurant, but they are still there.

And here's something you're probably not going to find in Seattle: Field art :)

(Technically in the town of Oregon, which is close by)

Actually I think Rockford is kinda split fairly evenly between conservative & liberal thinkers. In fact if anything it probably leans a little bit more heavily towards the conservative side.

So that's why all the elections in Rockford lean toward the democratic side... Winnebago county leans conservative (because of the smaller outlaying communitees) but Rockford itself is very liberal.

That's cool, and I mean, I know Chicago is nearby, and Chicago is pretty damn cool. But Seattle is like a city like Chicago, but then kinda homey and not just a complete sea of concrete.

It's nice to know there's culture in Rockford. I think I'm gonna come back for a week or so pretty soon here to help my mom harvest honey. Then I'll see you guys and you can show me some rockford culture.

Oh, and Box's went out of business BTW. Famous Dave's is opening soon though, and although it's a chain place it's damned good BBQ.

As for the BBQ, there's a little place down on southmain and harrison called the Smokehouse that's pretty dang good (and convieniently just down the street from my place of employment).
I agree with S. that Rockford and the surrounding areas do have some neat stuff but nobody really seems to give a crap.
I will say though, that in the brief time I vistited in Seattle I had a hell of a good time just wandering for hours, which is something I can't say about Rockford, or for that matter, Chicago.

My mom used to bring out quarts of Box's BBQ sauce when she visited. Since they've gone tits up, that's one less reason to go back (and there weren't many, besides family, to begin with).