This one is a bit of a diatribe, but really interesting at the same time and a great emperical comparison of cities and how they effect business and startup culture.
I loved this tidbit about the feelings you get whilst walking at night through Cambridge, MA (Harvard’s surroundings) vs Palo Alto (Stanford):
One of the exhilarating things about coming back to Cambridge every spring is walking through the streets at dusk, when you can see into the houses. When you walk through Palo Alto in the evening, you see nothing but the blue glow of TVs. In Cambridge you see shelves full of promising-looking books.
I always loved the message that Barcelona sent when I lived there, something like “friends and family are important, as is art, heritage, and passion for good living.” Chicago’s message to me goes something like “exclusivity is #1, at least where it concerns getting and staying rich. Our community is somewhere near the bottom of the pile, just look at our infrastructure. Corrupt police, by the way have right of way over everything”