What we love and hate about Chicago

  • Photographs by Ryan Robinson. Model by Joseph Cruz.

  • Photographs by Ryan Robinson. Model by Joseph Cruz.

Photographs by Ryan Robinson. Model by Joseph Cruz.

If Windy City denizens had to boil down their relationship with the city in Facebook terms, it might best be described as "It's complicated." We've got plenty of gripes-the parking meters, a sky-high sales tax and, yes, the satanic winters-but we dare any out-of-towner to question Chicago's merits, whether it's our sometimes fumbling but always lovable sports teams, our occasionally douche-dotted but fully accessible club scene or our affordable, nationally recognized restaurants. So while we love New York and Los Angeles, undeniable epicenters of trendsetting and innovation, we'll gladly take our gritty, celebrity-less city-blizzards, 66 hell bus and all.

Chicago sports

Diehard fans are in a committed, dysfunctional relationship, to the bitter end.

Chicago celebrities return home

We're not surprised these folks have returned to ply their talents here.

Poets pay tribute to the best and worst of the CTA

The Brown Line and and 66 Chicago bus.

Chicago clubs

Our nightlife lacks the pretense of coastal clubbing, but Chicago's scene is just right.

Chicago summers

The eternal winters chap our chilly hides, but when summer arrives, the city bursts with outdoor fun.

In love with Chicago winter

Music editor Brent DiCrescenzo embraces the most arctic season.

Winter festivals in other cities

Maybe we'd be quicker to embrace the cold if our city hosted more cool, outdoor events like these.

Comparing Chicago restaurants

The abundance of delicious, affordable food hasn't helped our waistlines.

Chicagoans on Chicago

Average Chicagoans dish on what they love about the city and what they could live without.

Chicago's deadly skyline

We have beautiful architecture, but sometimes it can be deadly.

A comic mulls the move to L.A.

Robert Buscemi says go while Sean Flannery makes a case to stay.

Defining celebrity: Chicago vs. the coasts

Windy City denizens have a slightly different definition of what it means to be famous.

Chicago Pedway

One writer spends the day underground in the Pedway.

Cost of living: Chicago vs. L.A. and New York

Chicago sales tax is high but other essentials tend to cost less.