There was an article in Friday's USA Today
comparing Chicago to New York City. The article started off by talking about the longstanding rivarly between the two cities. Though in terms of population, Chicago is no longer the true "second city," it is truly the only city in the U.S. that can be compared to the Big Apple. No other city in the U.S. can match the extensive mass transit systems, world class museums, world renowned architecture, culturally diverse neighborhoods or selection of restaurants that New York City and Chicago offer.
Though I have lived most of my life in the Chicago metropolitan area and have resided in the city for the last 5 years, I can't say that Chicago is better than New York City. Nor can I say that New York City is better than Chicago; even though it is a much larger city that is both the cultural and financial capital of the U.S. and the world. After traveling throughout Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe, and the U.S., I have come to the realization that both Chicago and New York City are the best. Both cities are well positioned to compete with the best European, South American, or Asian cities.
I'm certainly not discounting the other great cities in this country. In fact, I think that most American cities are unique in their own way. But in terms of true urban cities with thriving centers, the 2 American cities that can be mentioned in the same sentence as London, Tokyo, Shanghai, Paris, Buenos Aires, and Toronto are Chicago and New York City.
I personally don't see Chicago and New York City as competitors. Given the right job and the right time, I could just as easily live in New York City as I do in Chicago. Since I refuse to choose between the two of them, I'll take them both.