Which is better, Chicago or New York? The question is just an invitation for chest-beating, but it nonetheless persists as a favorite of Chicagoans, who invariably respond that their city stands far superior and then go on to append their litany of reasons. Just recently, we have witnessed an outbreak of this defensiveness in these pages from my old pal Neil Steinberg.
I'd say the question is unanswerable--depends on your interests and, besides, why can't both cities be wonderful? But since few New Yorkers are likely to bother taking on the issue (they are too busy making money or making art, among other more important things), I thought that I, a native Chicagoan, should weigh in on behalf of the country's biggest city.
A word about my credentials: I spent 11 years as a top editor at New York magazine and then 20 years as the editor in chief at Chicago. I live in Chicago now. Recently, I published a novel, Are You Happy Now? [Amazon Publishing, $14.95], whose protagonist, a young book editor in Chicago, wants more than anything to get to New York and spends a good amount of time chewing over the deficiencies of the Windy City as compared to the Big Apple.
So here are my 10 ways New York is better than Chicago: