People often ask me where I'm from (usually when I've just said something with a particularly nasal twang). I'm never quite sure how to answer them. I was born in Detroit and lived in the metropolitan area until I was 15. Then I moved to Alabama, where I finished high school and went to college. But I've lived in Chicago for 13 years--the longest amount of time I've ever spent in one place. And while I do my share of complaining (traffic, weather, crowds, weather, litter, weather, crime, weather), this place is special. There is an energy here, an openness of heart. There is grit and beauty. There are dear friends in these frozen winds. This city is home.