Archive

Quotes

The first requisite to happiness is that a man be born in a famous city.

—Euripides, c. 415 BC

I even gave up, for a while, stopping by the window of the room to look out at the lights and deep, illuminated streets. That’s a form of dying, that losing contact with the city like that.

—Philip K. Dick, 1972

I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all.

—Michelangelo Antonioni, 1967

The seeds of civilization are in every culture, but it is city life that brings them to fruition.

—Susanne K. Langer, 1962

The life of the city never lets you go, nor do you ever want it to.

—Wallace Stevens, 1952

Cities are the abyss of the human species.

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762

We must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.

—John Winthrop, 1630

Great cities must ever be centers of light and darkness, the home of the best and the worst of our race, holding within themselves the highest talent for good and evil.

—Matthew Hale Smith, 1868

Do you suppose that will change the sense of the morals, the fact that we can’t use morals as a means of judging the city because we couldn’t stand it? And that we’re changing our whole moral system to suit the fact that we’re living in a ridiculous way?

—Philip Johnson, 1965

Just as language no longer has anything in common with the thing it names, so the movements of most of the people who live in cities have lost their connection with the earth; they hang, as it were, in the air, hover in all directions, and find no place where they can settle.

—Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903

Does anybody really want to attend to cities other than to flee, fleece, privatize, butcher, or decimate them?

—Jane Holtz Kay, 1992

What is the city but the people?

—William Shakespeare, 1608

If the present be compared with the remote past, it is easily seen that in all cities and in all peoples there are the same desires and the same passions as there always were.

—Niccolò Machiavelli, c. 1513