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  • Clearly we need no introduction. I was born here in Woodlawn hospital and have spent 40-odd years rambling around your greater metropolitan area.

    I love you, Chicago. I know you know it but I like that you've never gotten a big head about it. I've always told everyone I love you and defended you against San Francisco, New York, even Seattle, which is where I first heard that I had "Midwestern Values."

    I always say: an artist can always work in Chicago, but never get famous and rarely get paid. I'm astounded by the creativity and artistry in Chicago. I've been known to weep at a literary event, blown away by how many good writers live here. I've been producing performance events for like 15 years because I am just so curious about what everyone is doing.

    I learned everything I know about being a political radical in Chicago. Your revolutionaries still terrify and thrill me.

    I only have one bone to pick with you, Chicago: you have not done a great job of making out with me. Don't get me wrong, great times have happened here, but just not lately with Chicagoans. I mean, I know I've been a participant in 6 years of long distance relationships, but I'm left with the impression that someone needs to get on a plane for me to get any affection.

    And when everything else falls away, there is just us and our communities. Tonight I might want your hands, mouth, body, but for right now I will love your eyes. I will make my eyes available to you and look in yours and know everything I need to know.

    I love you, Chicago.

    -Nicole
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