We had our anniversary party yesterday and it was amazing. The turnout we tremendous, the music was incredible and the memories are now firmly entrenched. On the occasion of Chicagoist's tenth birthday, many past writers took to the inter webs to pen their own memories of the site and I realized that since I've been in the thick of this thing since almost the beginning I have no detached perspective. But you know what? The site is really great. We were a total outlier when we started and I like to think some of that rebel spirit still beats within our writing even as the site has slowly moved into the realm of not only being "respectable" but actually forming one of the primary foundations of Chicago's media scene. Not bad for a little website that used to pull stunts like only using Slayer song titles for headlines for a day. And to give you an idea of our local bent, my post on Cheetah Gym's suddenly closing still holds the record for most—and some of the most insane—comments in the site's history (even if, sadly, they were lost when we switched commenting systems).
Everybody's posts about Chicagoist have hinged on how the site changed their lives. I know in my time I've brought in many a talented writer who has then gone on to do even more amazing things after using the site as the first stepping stone of their career. And I am more than aware that all the super cool stuff I get to do—the truly amazing life I get to lead, is because of Chicagoist. Hell, Chicagoist played a pretty huge part in introducing me to the love of my life who I'm getting married to in just a few months. So that's something.
So I can't get all teary-eyed and sentimental about my time at Chicagoist, because it's still a very present ongoing concern for me, and will be for the foreseeable future. (As Chuck once said, "Tankboy will probably outlast us all.") But I can take a step back for a second and appreciate what the site has done over the years and celebrate everyone that's been on the ride with me to make Chicagoist the amazing, singular, unique voice that it is.