What’s to Like About Rockford: Free Electronic Recycling

So there I was getting gas one day and I saw this . . .

Live near Rockford? Got electronic junk? Take it here.

Live near Rockford? Got electronic junk? Take it here.

AND THEN, I saw this . . .

Big pile of big TVs

Big pile of big TVs

All you have to do is drive your electronic junk out to Kelley’s Market, on S. Main and Hwy 20 and drop it off in their big blue bin (or off to the side of their big blue bin, like in the photograph above). Old TVs, computers, VHS players, radios, and so on, they take it all.

Kelley Williamson Mobile teamed up with United Recycling Technologies (URT) and the partnership has been going strong since 2013. There’s a second bin at East State Street and Lyford Road. Between the two bins, millions of pounds have been collected. URT handles all kinds of e-waste to make sure it doesn’t wind up in a landfill where the corrosion of electronics can leak lead and hazardous chemicals into the water table.

So go ahead and clear out the basement. You’ve got a place to take that ginormous TV that blew up while you were watching American Ninja Warrior.

What’s to Like About Rockford: The Kroozin Kooler

Kroozin Kooler comes when you call!

Kroozin Kooler comes when you call!

This summer I had one of those BIG BIRTHDAYS. You know, one of the ones that end in “0”. My kids thought it was a big deal, even if I was in denial. “Who me? I cannot possibly be that old. Must be a clerical error.”

Alas, my mother confirmed, I was indeed that old. She insists she was there at my origination.

After briefly considering accidentally dropping my drivers license into the shredder, I decided to embrace my inner child. What better way than to gorge on ice-cream? And rather than imbibe in the dark, alone, with a quart of double fudge brownie delight and a very large serving spoon, I scheduled the Kroozin Kooler and invited my neighbors to join me.

The Kroozin Kooler?


I’m old enough to remember when ice cream trucks drove around the neighborhood twice a week in the summer time. My brother and I would turn off the sprinkler and dash, dripping wet, down the street with hands full of change. Our goal?

The Bomb Pop.

The Bomb Pop

The Bomb Pop

Now that I live in Rockford, I can just call up this local company, Kroozin Kooler and schedule an ice-cream truck to come to my house. My ice-cream lady carries the good stuff too.

Some of the selection

Some of the selection

I love this idea. A fleet of ice-cream trucks ready when and wherever you are. I love this company. The drivers are cheery. The trucks are bright and clean. The music is nostalgic. The product is divine and the price fair.

Their website: http://www.kroozinkooler.com/ Their phone number: 815-708-1558 Their event request form: http://www.kroozinkooler.com/event-request.html and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kroozin-Kooler-Frozen-Treatz-106807652815/timeline/

You know you want one right? No matter what your age, your orbitofrontal cortex will thank you.

What’s to Like About Rockford: Nunzio’s Restaurant

Nunzio's Restaurant, Loves Park, IL

Nunzio’s Restaurant, Loves Park, IL

It’s been a while since I wrote a “What’s to Like About Rockford” post. During most of 2012-2013 I was in the habit of posting one feature per month about my favorite places unique to the city I’ve called home for the last fifteen years. Rockford tends to get a bit of bad press and since, for the time being, my family has planted our roots here, I thought spreading some optimism was warranted.

So why did I stop writing these feel-good posts? I’m thinking it had something to do with my serving jury duty on a horrific murder trial and listening to the testimony of a dozen or more local police officers. Yes, I admit I was a bit jaded about my home town afterwards. My posting habit was broken.

Yet, there I was at Nunzio’s last Saturday night, enjoying the food, the service, and the conversation with my gal pal about everything writing (she’s one of my critique partners) and everything wedding (she just got married), when I realized, “Hey, I really like this place. I should write about it on my blog.”

So in the spirit of revealing Rockford’s gems rather than ruminating about my beleaguered city, I offer up Nunzio’s as another entry in the “What’s to Like About Rockford” series.

Nunzio’s is a family-owned restaurant that has been in Rockford for over thirty years. Their menu features Italian cuisine from pizza to pasta to pork chops. It was certainly the go-to place last weekend. We had a long table next to us that seemed a bit grim when they were first seated, but they loosened up after a few cocktails, and left in a very good mood right before us a mere 3-1/2 hours later. Prom goers sat at most of the other surrounding tables and there was enough sparkle to steer a ship through a fog bank. In other words, there was an awful lot of this:

Sequins, sequins, everywhere

Sequins, sequins, everywhere

But the real star of the night was the food. My friend Jen and I both had the famous Steak Sinatra, a char-broiled New York Strip, covered in De Jonghe butter and crumbs, baked in an oven, and then bias cut. It comes in two portion sizes, 14 oz and 20 oz.

Steak Sinatra, the smaller one ;)

Steak Sinatra, the smaller one 😉

One half of this meal for dinner, and the other for breakfast!

If you’ve never been to Nunzio’s you should give it a try and if you haven’t been there in a while, well what’s keeping you? Check out their menu here and their website here.

Photos of Nunzio’s by Karin Blaski; Photo of sparkle © Jessie Eldora Robertson