IBP historic photo

Saluations!

Thank you for stopping by to my amazing humble travel blog! I’m beyond tickled pink that you stopped by. I feel some sort of introductions are in order.

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Hello! My name is Anthony Casimir Alfaro (I only use my full name when trying to be fancy), and I was born and raised in Chicago. YES! In Chicago itself, not Naperville, Schaumburg, Evanston or even Chicago Heights but I have lived my entire life within the limits of this grand city. First off, I am a lover of Chicago history, particularly the 1890’s through the 1920’s. I developed a love for Chicago’s incredible architecture from living my early days in Uptown, in the shadows of such architectural marvels such as the Uptown Theater, the Riviera and the Aragon Ballroom. After learning from my high school drafting teacher that I would never be an architect because I have the math skills of a third grader I obviously shifted my perogative to learning, promoting and preserving all things historical! ::throws confetti::

Although my Chicago origins began in Uptown, the neighborhood in Chicago I called home for the majority of my life is West Ridge/West Rogers Park. Somewhat suburban in apparance, incredibly diverse in population and pure Chicago in character, the “Kosher Coast” as we called it is always a place I will call home. Literally growing up down the street from Devon Avenue, Chicago’s “International Marketplace” has truly made me appreciate the melting pot that is Chicago. West Ridge was not just a spot where my family settled but where we achieved the oh-so-cliché American dream.

Following my upbringing in West Ridge, I also called the North Park neighborhood home while attending ::drum rolls:: ……… North Park University. Then following that, a year long stay in my first apartment in Lakeview East. Next a move to Albany Park, followed by yet another move to Andersonville where I engrossed myself in all things Swedish for seven years before FINALLY settling in my current home, Ravenswood. So yes, the far northside of Chicago has been my stomping grounds for quite some time.

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Fast forward to college where I recieved my bachelors in archaeology after a brief stint as a history major. Fast forward again to post college life. Picture it! Chicagoland, 2010. A young college graduate lands his first job! ::throws confetti:: It was incredibly boring but paid the bills, and somehow had absolutely NOTHING to do with his college major. I was that boy, and the incredibly boring job was working in the exciting world of finance(funny how life works out that way).Although my job involves crunching numbers my love for historical research continues. I’m a self proclaimed Sanborn map addict, if you want to know what a building initially was, I can probably tell you. The history of Chicago department stores almost makes me wet my pants and if you hang around me you’ll probably get more amounts of trivia about this dying retail enviroment that you probably ever want to know. Chicago postcards are my bread and butter (our dining room even has a rotating display rack of postcards for our guest’ viewing pleasure). I adore postcards SO much that I’m in the early works on writing a book about the history of Uptown featuring my vast collection! Stay tuned for that!

Along with my partner in crime, Jared S. Kachelmeyer, we not only explore Chicagoland but the American heartland in his Toyota Yaris who we have named Patti. Be it a Viking pub crawl in Chicago, driving the back roads through Missouri Wine Country, never ending trips to Wisconsin, urban exploration through Gary,Indiana or simply aimlessly driving towards the sunset……….WE. ARE. THERE! Hopefully you will be too!

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Cheers and happy travels!

-Anthony & Jared

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