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Quotes

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

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

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

—D.H. Lawrence, 1908

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

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

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

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

There is a city in which you find everything you desire—handsome people, pleasures, ornaments of every kind—all that the natural person craves. However, you cannot find a single wise person there.

—Rumi, c. 1250

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

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

—Martin Oppenheimer, 1969

Cities are the abyss of the human species.

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762

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

—Hesiod, c. 700 BC