The older I get, the more pride I have in the multiple and strange places I come from. Born in Boston, I was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, with frequent trips to Atlantic City, NJ (where my mom came from) and all over Texas (where my dad came from).
The above picture is Lucy the Elephant, historical wonder native to southern New Jersey and something that I frequently climbed. It's weird. It's needed repair every year since it was built. It's ungainly and strange and awesome.
Now I live in Chicago, which is not - and I'm sorry if you thought for one second it was - New York. New York is great, but Chicago is where I've chosen to live because life can be stranger there without being nearly so expensive. And in Chicago, I can write plays about elephants and Atlantic City and Texas and I don't have to try so hard to be fancy.
I like strange. I like Chicago.
And P.S.: 1100 square feet for $1100 a month doesn't hurt, either.