"Big yes! A great creative place has to have great art, great food, and a combination of beauty and grit to be inspired by. Chicago has all of that."
Comedy Ensemble Member
"More and more people are moving to the city, and more and more people are realizing what a gem it is. It really is an emerald."
Of Chicago's Wicked
"Chicago is a pirouette. When you do a pirouette, you prepare for a turn and you might not know how many times you're going to go around, but your goal is to land gracefully. Chicago is always turning, always changing, always trying to get better."
Erica Lynette Edwards
Joffrey Ballet Ballerina
"You can see it all get started here: life-saving drugs, new food, new technologies, new airplanes, advertising creativity."
CEO of Motorola
"The Chicago lakefront, Nelson Algren, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, the best place to get pizza, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, Bill Murray, John Cusack, Lupe Fiasco, Buddy Guy, Hugh Hefner, Billy Corgan, Kanye West, Liz Phair, Bernie Mac, Jeff Tweedy, Common, Jeremy Piven, Ramsey Lewis, Pete Wentz, Studs Terkel, Frankie Knuckles, Koko Taylor, Chris Ware, Charlie Trotter, Freddy Rodriguez, Ryne Sandberg, Nate Berkus, Judy Chicago, Kerry James Marshall, Chicago Italian beef hot dogs, house music, the Second City theater — and my father."
aka Carlos Rolon
"It's the momentum. Sitting in a restaurant, you can hear the buzz of conversation — the discussion of innovative ideas. Driving downtown, you can see the cranes — the creation of an even greater community. It's living, breathing progress. It's exciting and evolving. It's Chicago."
CEO of Ticketsnow
"Chicago is a great frontier, with very smart people and high technology coming together. Science meets the community."
Scientific Director of African Ancestry and Associate Professor at the University of Chicago
"I think Chicago restlessly settled into a grudging sense of its global irrelevance years ago, which has kept it rather interested in the rest of the world. It attracts a respectable number of European tourists, who perhaps see it as the most American of American cities. It's an honest city, and because of that, it has a grim, refreshing isolation to it."
"There's an attitude here that's very Midwestern. It's a strong work ethic. It seems to be very friendly and neighborly, but underneath is an incredible competitive spirit. The coasts get more credit than Chicago, which fosters this something-to-prove attitude — and people rise to the challenge."
CEO of ad agency DDB Chicago
"People perceive New York as the most creative place, but it's not as lively as it is here. More risks are taken here. You have a community that's willing to embrace food for what it is, look past preconceived notions, and not be scared to try something new."
Chef-Owner of Alinea
A version of this article appeared in the June 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.