Archive

Quotes

By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted, but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

—Book of Proverbs, c. 350 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

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

A hick town is one where there is no place to go where you shouldn’t go.

—Alexander Woollcott, c. 1935

A large city cannot be experientially known; its life is too manifold for any individual to be able to participate in it.

—Aldous Huxley, 1934

Often an entire city has suffered because of an evil man.

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC

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

—D.H. Lawrence, 1908

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

Divine nature gave the fields; human art built the cities.

—Marcus Terentius Varro, c. 70 BC

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

—Jane Holtz Kay, 1992

The more men are massed together, the more corrupt they become. Disease and vice are the sure results of overcrowded cities.

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762

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

There is no solitude in the world like that of the big city.

—Kathleen Norris, 1931