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Quotes

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

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

—Susanne K. Langer, 1962

What is the city but the people?

—William Shakespeare, 1608

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

—Alexander Woollcott, c. 1935

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

Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and in this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.

—John Berger, 1987

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

It is men who make a city, not walls or ships.

—Thucydides, 410 BC

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

—Wallace Stevens, 1952

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

—Kathleen Norris, 1931

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

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

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

—D.H. Lawrence, 1908