Archive

Quotes

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

—Édouard Manet, c. 1860

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

—Euripides, c. 415 BC

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

Any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich; these are at war with one another.

—Plato, c. 378 BC

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

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

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

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

—Wallace Stevens, 1952

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

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 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

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