Rockford Rocked Interviews: A teenager’s record of Rockford

By Todd Houston 

Teenager Daniel Salazar is enjoying chronicling the past and present of his hometown. In our latest Rockford Rocked Interview installment, Todd Houston talks with Salazar about his view of his city and his hopes for its future.

Rockford Rocked Interviews: Hi, Daniel! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Daniel Salazar: I’m 13-years-old and home schooled. I just started an Instagram account called Rockfords_Otherside ( I started it to help people see that Rockford is a good place and not as bad as many people say. I also take photos of historical buildings and landmarks.

RRI: In your opinion, what is the best thing about Rockford right now?

DS: The best thing about Rockford is our downtown. It has grown so much with restoring historical buildings, and putting in delicious restaurants, awesome stores and the City Market. It has been flourishing and growing so fast!

RRI: How about the worst?

DS: We need to work on rebuilding our neighborhoods and (to) lower crime. I think it would be great to restore old homes and factories.

RRI: What do you think our community offers that other cities our size do not?

DS: Well, Rockford offers many good things compared to other cities. We have done a very good job by helping downtown grow again and by bringing our beautiful city together.

RRI: If you could travel back in time three years and visit your younger self, what advice would you give to yourself?

DS: I would tell my younger self not to rush and not to try to be the best at everything. Also, to enjoy life.

RRI: If your mom and dad told you that they would take you anywhere you wanted for dinner, where would you choose to go?

DS: I would stay in Rockford and go to my favorite restaurant: Prairie Street Brewhouse. I really like this place because their food is delicious!

RRI: What words do you think most describe you?

DS: If I had to choose a few words to describe myself I would say that I am calm, kind, peaceful, and caring.

RRI: Of all the things you are learning in your schoolwork right now, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?

DS:  I do a lot of independent reading. Most of the books are stories are about the history of many cultures, races, and other countries. Its helped me to have a better understanding of all people and what their lives are like.

RRI: If you could grow up to be famous, what would you want to be famous for?

DS: If I would to grow up to be famous I would want to be famous for taking old homes in Rockford and fixing them to what they used to be.

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