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okay, rockford culture

Well, now I've been schooled about the modern culturefest that is Rockford, IL.

And let me just say that not only don't I know muchg about Rockford, but I didn't really know much about Rockford or Winnebago County or Northern Illinois, even back when I lived there. I know far more about the Seattle metropolitan and surrounding areas than I ever knew about Illinios.

My folks weren't really into exploring the area that much. We did go to the apple orchard though, which someone mentioned in the comments. Edwards apple orchard. I actually went out with a girl in the Edwards family, which was a little surreal since going there had been a kind of childhood memory. Damn good apples, and a nice homey Saturday activity. It felt so abundant to eat all the apples you wanted and just pick bushels and bushels. Like a cornucopia. They also had a little cafe with really good apple pie and cider and such. That was definately a really good memory, we went several times.

Due to lack of coffee shops, I did spend a lot of time with my friends at Denny's, where I began my lifelong overconsumption of coffee. Especially after I read Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones. It's a book where she talks about the incredible virtues (both in honing writing skill and thereputic psychological value) of writing down an unhindered stream of mental diarrhea. Then I camped out at Denny's with renewed fervor now that I had a purpose.

But that was when I had started to develop a local social circle with cars. Before that I went through some times feeling pretty isolated always living on the outskirts of Rockford. I didn't really click with anyone nearby at my high school, and I really got into the computer and dial-up BBS's, which is how I made some real friends. Now they all have websites. Go figure.

Man I am hitting this whole Rockford thing in a very non-comprehensive kinda way.


To be honest, I have probably lived in more cities than any of my friends, and from experience there is "culture" in all of them. San Francisco was my favorite city, if only because I could do anything at any time of day, and it is very scenic. Rockford has it's own charm, if you avoid the strip malls that have invaded like some suburban plague. One thing Rockford doesn't have, that I can't say I really miss, is sub-culture. Oh sure we have our weirdo vampire people, and our fair share of hippies, but they are mainly relegated to the back seat of the social consciousness. I think it really does have to do with being in the midwest, there is, or seems to be, a certain level-headedness to most things. Ok, if not level-headed, at least middle-ground approach.

Well it's your own damn fault I evolved into a website having monster. You where the one that said I had to have a modem and helped me persuade my parents it wasn't a devil tool! hehehe.

I miss Box's BBQ (I used to make my Mom bring out quarts of sauce when she visited) and Edwards Apple Orchard, I'll give you that. Folks out here give me funny looks when I put cheddar on my apple pie. Found any u-pick apple orchards out here?

One thing I like about living out here in the semi-boonies area surrounding Rockford is that Edwards Orchard is less than five miles from my house, so we generally take the kids there and the Pumpkin Patch out on Rte173 about 10 times a year, and I can fill apple cider donut cravings on a whim. Usually at least once a year, I take orders and cash from people at work and bring in about 15 dozen donuts for people so they don't have to drive 25 miles if all they want is the donuts.

I was so wrong about that "devil tool" thing. I think your parents got hoodwinked, C.

And yeah, I think I'm gonna head back to Rockford right now. That cider donut thing has been a gaping hole in my life. Hehehehe. Nah, really, Edwards is super cool.

Cider donuts are da bomb! Mainly if you really luck out and get them still warm, right out of the fryer.

I think one of the things Daniel's probably looking for though is not just cultural events and institutions, but culture within the actual people.
There I can probably admit that Rockford doesn't have much of it. We're all sort of a large group of 150,000+ uncultured hicks that live together in a somewhat large city.
In a way that just makes it all the cooler when you meet the exceptions though...

I disagree there is a lot of culture in the people in the Rockford area, unfortunantly we aren't interested in other people's culture, so we tend to stick to our own circles and only know about the activities by word of mouth. Mainly because these event coordinators do not want to spend money advertising to people that not only won't attend but also because the people that most likely will already know about it.

Actually I was just bitching (to myself) the other day about how it seems like I never find out about events until after they're over.

I suppose if I started buying Friday's paper it would help alleviate that problem though...

Oh, and I almost forgot!
We have an actual brewery & pub type place now too, Carlyle Brewing Co..
As an added bonus the beer is actually pretty darned good. Hell, if they bottled it I'd buy it on a regular basis, but they don't and unfortunately it's not real convenient to drive all the way downtown just to get a beer...