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- It's every man for himself in this hired air. / Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.
- [About Chicago:] An October sort of city even in spring.
- This is virgin territory out here for whorehouses.
- Al Capone, referring to suburban Chicago, as quoted in The Bootleggers and Their Era (1961) by Kenneth Alsop
- They have the time
The time or their life
I saw a man
He danced with his wife
In Chicago, my home town.
- Song "Chicago" (lyrics Fred Fisher)
- I have struck a city — a real city — and they call it Chicago… Having seen it, I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages.
- 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.
- Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the Big Shoulders.
- Carl Sandburg, "Chicago" (1916)
- 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.