Archive

Quotes

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

—Susanne K. Langer, 1962

In Washington, the first thing people tell you is what their job is. In Los Angeles you learn their star sign. In Houston you’re told how rich they are. And in New York they tell you what their rent is.

—Simon Hoggart, 1990

One need merely visit the marketplace and the graveyard to determine whether a city is in both physical and metaphysical order.

—Ernst Jünger, 1977

No city should be too large for a man to walk out of in a morning.

—Cyril Connolly, 1944

Towns oftener swamp one than carry one out onto the big ocean of life.

—D.H. Lawrence, 1908

Today’s city is the most vulnerable social structure ever conceived by man.

—Martin Oppenheimer, 1969

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

The country only has charms for those not obliged to stay there. 

—Édouard Manet, c. 1860

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

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

The screech and mechanical uproar of the big city turns the citified heads, fills citified ears—as the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries, or as the voices and songs of his loved ones once filled his heart. He is sidewalk happy.

—Frank Lloyd Wright, 1958

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

—Jane Holtz Kay, 1992

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