It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago — she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time. ~ Mark Twain
I came to discover that Chicago is that most American of American cities, but one where citizens from more than 130 nations inhabit a rich tapestry of distinctive neighborhoods. Each one of those neighborhoods -- from Greektown to the Ukrainian Village; from Devon to Pilsen to Washington Park -- has its own unique character, its own unique history, its songs, its language. But each is also part of our city -- one city -- a city where I finally found a home.
I tried not to make judgments. These people were doing something important, all of them. They were testing ways whereby people didn’t have to live in Chicago. That was a wonder to me. I had thought Chicago was inevitable, like diarrhea.
John Varley, The Persistence of Vision in Nebula Winners Fourteen, p. 4.