Top Great Cities Quotes

Browse top 55 famous quotes and sayings about Great Cities by most favorite authors.

Favorite Great Cities Quotes

1. "As a newcomer I felt that this was indeed a blessed place, capable of unabashedly advertising its flaws, fearing no ridicule and no criticism. That, in essence, is the opposite of provincialism. The great cities of the world are not provincial: They invite complexity, not propaganda."
Author: Andrei Codrescu
2. "You stand there, braced. Cloud shadows race back over the buff rock stacks as a projected film, casting a queasy, mottled ground rash. The air hisses and it is no local breeze but the great harsh sweep of wind from the turning of the earth. The wild country -- indigo jags of mountain, grassy plain everlasting, tumbled stones like fallen cities, the flaring roll of sky -- provokes a spiritual shudder. It is like a deep note that cannot be heard but is felt, it is like a claw in the gut."
Author: Annie Proulx
3. "The earth is an orbiting speck in incomprehensible vastness. The histories of our civilizations, our accomplishments and secrets, great good and evil—these are no more significant than the single twinkle of a star. Perhaps, this is why we try to outshine the heavens with our cities and make theatrical events of our simple lives."
Author: Christopher Hawke
4. "We have great cities to visit: New York and Washington, Paris and London; and further east, and older than any of these, the legendary city of Samarkand, whose crumbling palaces and mosques still welcome travelers on the Silk road. Weary of cities? Then we'll take to the wilds. To the islands of Hawaii and the mountains of Japan, to forests where Civil War dead still lie, and stretches of sea no mariner ever crossed. They all have their poetry: the glittering cities and the ruined, the watery wastes and the dusty; I want to show you them all. I want to show you everything."
Author: Clive Barker
5. "I grew up in traditional black patriarchal culture and there is no doubt that I'm going to take a great many unconscious, but present, patriarchal complicities to the grave because it so deeply ensconced in how I look at the world. Therefore, very much like alcoholism, drug addiction, or racism patriarchy is a disease and we are in perennial recovery and relapse. So you have to get up every morning and struggle against it."
Author: Cornel West
6. "There were reprints of American editorials. Liberals saw it as a resurgence of social protest and decried the discrimination, poverty, and hunger that had provoked it. Conservative columnists acidly pointed out that hungry people don't steal stereo systems first and called for a crackdown in law enforcement. All of the reasoned editorials sounded hollow in light of the perverse randomness of the event. It was as if only a thin wall of electric lighting protected the great cities of the world from total barbarism."
Author: Dan Simmons
7. "I am a little church(no great cathedral)far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities--i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,i am not sorry when sun and rain make aprilmy life is the life of the reaper and the sower;my prayers are prayers of earth's own clumsily striving(finding and losing and laughing and crying)childrenwhose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladnessaround me surges a miracle of unceasingbirth and glory and death and resurrection:over my sleeping self float flaming symbolsof hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountainsi am a little church(far from the franticworld with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature--i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;i am not sorry when silence becomes singingwinter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire tomerciful Him Whose only now is forever:standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)"
Author: E.E. Cummings
8. "Time and space - time to be alone, space to move about - these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow."
Author: Edwin Way Teale
9. "I like to borrow a metaphor from the great poet and mystic Rumi who talks about living like a drawing compass. One leg of the compass is static. It is fixed and rooted in a certain spot. Meanwhile, the other leg draws a huge wide circle around the first one, constantly moving. Just like that, one part of my writing is based in Istanbul. It has strong local roots. Yet at the same time the other part travels the whole wide world, feeling connected to several cities, cultures, and peoples."
Author: Elif Shafak
10. "Zalasiewicz is convinced that even a moderately competent stratigrapher will, at the distance of a hundred million years or so, be able to tell that something extraordinary happened at the moment in time that counts for us as today. This is the case even though a hundred million years from now, all that we consider to be the great works of man—the sculptures and the libraries, the monuments and the museums, the cities and the factories—will be compressed into a layer of sediment not much thicker than a cigarette paper."
Author: Elizabeth Kolbert
11. "Although elephants are far more distantly related to us than the great apes, they seem to have evolved similar social and cognitive capacities."
Author: Frans De Waal
12. "To become what one is, one must not have the faintest notion of what one is... The whole surface of consciousness - for consciousness -is- a surface - must be kept clear of all great imperatives. Beware even of every great word, every great pose! So many dangers that the instinct comes too soon to "understand itself" --.Meanwhile, the organizing idea that is destined to rule keeps growing deep down - it begins to command, slowly it leads us back from side roads and wrong roads; it prepares single qualities and fitnesses that will one day prove to be indispensable as a means toward a whole - one by one, it trains all subservient capacities before giving any hint of the dominant task, "goal," "aim," or "meaning."
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
13. "The secret of realizing the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment of existence is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships out into uncharted seas! Live in conflict with your equals and with yourselves! Be robbers and ravagers as soon as you ca not be rulers and owners, you men of knowledge! The time will soon past when you could be content to live concealed int he woods like timid deer!"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
14. "One might be tempted to extol as an advance over Sophocles the radical tendency of Euripides to produce a proper relation between art and the public. But "public," after all, is a mere word. In no sense is it a homogeneous and constant quantity. Why should the artist be bound to accommodate himself to a power whose strength lies solely in numbers? And if, by virtue of his endowments and aspirations, he should feel himself superior to every one of these spectators, how could he feel greater respect for the collective expression of all these subordinate capacities than for the relatively highest-endowed individual spectator?"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
15. "For believe me! — the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment is: to live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! Be robbers and conquerors as long as you cannot be rulers and possessors, you seekers of knowledge! Soon the age will be past when you could be content to live hidden in forests like shy deer! At long last the search for knowledge will reach out for its due: — it will want to rule and possess, and you with it!"
Author: Friedrich Nietzsche
16. "Here is Menard's own intimate forest: 'Now I am traversed by bridle paths, under the seal of sun and shade...I live in great density...Shelter lures me. I slump down into the thick foliage...In the forest, I am my entire self. Everything is possible in my heart just as it is in the hiding places in ravines. Thickly wooded distance separates me from moral codes and cities."
Author: Gaston Bachelard
17. "Having been tenant long to a rich Lord, Not thriving, I resolved to be bold, And make a suit unto him, to affordA new small-rented lease, and cancell th' old.In heaven at his manour I him sought: They told me there, that he was lately gone About some land, which he had dearly boughtLong since on earth, to take possession.I straight return'd, and knowing his great birth, Sought him accordingly in great resorts; In cities, theatres, gardens, parks, and courts:At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth Of theeves and murderers: there I him espied, Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, and died."
Author: George Herbert
18. "We in Europe have great capacities."
Author: George Papandreou
19. "Global warming has melted the polar ice caps, raised the levels of the oceans and flooded the earth's great cities. Despite its evident prosperity, New Jersey is scarcely Utopia."
Author: Godfried Danneels
20. "There had been no crises of incident, or marked movements of experience such as in Felipe's imaginations of love were essential to the fulness of its growth. This is a common mistake on the part of those who have never felt love's true bonds. Once in those chains, one perceives that they are not of the sort full forged in a day. They are made as the great iron cables are made, on which bridges are swung across the widest water-channels,--not of single huge rods, or bars, which would be stronger, perhaps, to look at; but myriads of the finest wires, each one by itself so fine, so frail, it would barely hold a child's kite in the wind: by hundreds, hundreds of thousands of such, twisted, re-twisted together, are made the mighty cables, which do not any more swerve from their place in the air, under the weight and jar of the ceaseless traffic and tread of two cities, than the solid earth swerves under the same ceaseless weight and jar. Such cables do not break."
Author: Helen Hunt Jackson
21. "It seemed to him he had waited an age for some stir of the great grim hush; the life of the town was itself under a spell--so unnaturally, up and down the whole prospect of known and rather ugly objects, the blankness and the silence lasted. Had they ever, he asked himself, the hard-faced houses, which had begun to look livid in the dim dawn, had they ever spoken so little to any need of his spirit? Great builded voids, great crowded stillnesses put on, often, in the heart of cities, for the small hours, a sort of sinister mask, and it was of this large collective negation that Brydon presently became conscious--all the more that the break of day was, almost incredibly, now at hand, proving to him what night he had made of it."
Author: Henry James
22. "In seeking to severely penalize criminals society by putting the criminals away behind safe walls actually provide them with the means of greater strength for future atrocities glorious and otherwise."
Author: Jack Kerouac
23. "The surpluses will have to be expended somehow, and trust the oligarchs to find a way. Magnificent roads will be built. There will be great achievements in science, and especially in art. When the oligarchs have completely mastered the people, they will have time to spare for other things. They will become worshippers of beauty. They will become art-lovers. And under their direction and generously rewarded, will toil the artists. The result will be great art; for no longer, as up to yesterday, will the artists pander to the bourgeois taste of the middle class. It will be great art, I tell you, and wonder cities will arise that will make tawdry and cheap the cities of old time. And in these cities will the oligarchs dwell and worship beauty"
Author: Jack London
24. "We do not look in great cities for our best morality."
Author: Jane Austen
25. "In this new year, may you have a deep understanding of your true value and worth, an absolute faith in your unlimited potential, peace of mind in the midst of uncertainty, the confidence to let go when you need to, acceptance to replace your resistance, gratitude to open your heart, the strength to meet your challenges, great love to replace your fear, forgiveness and compassion for those who offend you, clear sight to see your best and true path, hope to dispel obscurity, the conviction to make your dreams come true, meaningful and rewarding synchronicities, dear friends who truly know and love you, a childlike trust in the benevolence of the universe, the humility to remain teachable, the wisdom to fully embrace your life exactly as it is, the understanding that every soul has its own course to follow, the discernment to recognize your own unique inner voice of truth, and the courage to learn to be still."
Author: Janet Rebhan
26. "Planning is for the world's great cities, for Paris, London, and Rome, for cities dedicated, at some level, to culture. Detroit, on the other hand, was an American city and therefore dedicated to money, and so design had given way to expediency."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
27. "I have a place in Chicago and I get there as much as I can... The city is so unbelievably beautiful. It's one of the greatest cities on the planet. My heart beats differently when I'm in Chicago. It slows down and I feel more at ease."
Author: Jeremy Piven
28. "New York is at once cosmopolitan and parochial, a compendium of sentimental certainties. It is in fact the most sentimental of the world's great cities - in its self-congratulation a kind of San Francisco of the East"
Author: John Gregory Dunne
29. "Thus, when Paul says, "Praise the Lord all you nations, and let all the peoples extol him" (Rom. 15:11), he is saying that there is something about God that is so universally praiseworthy and so profoundly beautiful and so comprehensively worth and so deeply satisfying that God will find passionate admirers in every diverse people group in the world. His true greatness will be manifest in the breadth of the diversity of those who perceive and cherish his beauty. His excellence will be shown to be higher and deeper than the parochial preferences that make us happy most of the time. His appeal will be to the deepest, highest, largest capacities of the human soul. Thus, the diversity of the source of admiration will testify to his incomparable glory."
Author: John Piper
30. "In her mind's eye she saw it, saw it all at last: the rolling armies and the flames of battle; the graves and pits and dying cries of a hundred million souls; the spreading darkness, like a black wing stretching over the earth; the last, bitter hours of cruelty and sorrow, and the terrible, final flights; death's great dominion over all, and, at the last, empty cities, becalmed by the silence of a hundred years. Already these things were coming to pass."
Author: Justin Cronin
31. "What was unfolding in Mumbai was unfolding elsewhere, too. In the age of global market capitalism, hopes and grievances were narrowly conceived, which blunted a sense of common predicament. Poor people didn't unite; they competed ferociously amongst themselves for gains as slender as they were provisional. And this undercity strife created only the faintest ripple in the fabric of the society at large. The gates of the rich, occasionally rattled, remained unbreached. The politicians held forth on the middle class. The poor took down one another, and the world's great, unequal cities soldiered on in relative peace."
Author: Katherine Boo
32. "We know we are a species obsessed with itself and its own past and origins. We know we are capable of removing from the sanctuary of the earth shards and fragments, and gently placing them in museums. Great museums in great cities—the hallmarks of civilisation."
Author: Kathleen Jamie
33. "Homo sapiens! The name itself was an irony. They had not been wise at all, but incredibly stupid. Lords of the Earth with their great gray brains, their thinking minds had placed them above all other forms of life. Yet it had not been thought that compelled them to act, but emotion. From the dawn of their evolution they had killed, and conquered, and subdued. They had committed atrocities on others of their kind, ravaged the land, polluted and destroyed, left millions to starve in Third World countries, and finished it all with a nuclear holocaust. The mutants were right. Intelligent creatures did not commit genocide, or murder the environment on which they were dependent."
Author: Louise Lawrence
34. "Housing was ground zero for the Great Recession. Between early 2006 and Obama's inauguration in 2009, average house prices fell by a third across the country. In certain areas, including cities as diverse as Akron, Orlando and Las Vegas, house prices fell by more than half."
Author: Mark Zandi
35. "Remember, how often the great art of the past didn't look great at first, how often it didn't look like art at all; how much easier it is, decades or centuries later, to adore it, not only because it is, in fact, great but because it's still here; because the inevitable little errors and infelicities tend to recede in an object that's survived the War of 1812, the eruption of Krakatoa, the rise and fall of Nazism."
Author: Michael Cunningham
36. "THE DAY THE SAUCERS CAME"That day, the saucer day the zombie dayThe Ragnarok and fairies day, the day the great winds cameAnd snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the dayAll plants died, plastics dissolved, the day theComputers turned, the screens telling us we would obey, the dayAngels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,And all the bells of London were sounded, the dayAnimals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,The fluttering capes and arrival of the Time Machine day,You didn't notice any of this becauseyou were sitting in your room, not doing anythingnot even reading, not really, justlooking at your telephone,wondering if I was going to call."
Author: Neil Gaiman
37. "For it is not Histories that I am writing, but Lives; and in the most illustrious deeds there is not always a manifestation of virtue or vice, nay, a slight thing like a phrase or a jest often makes a greater revelation of character than battles where thousands fall, or the greatest armaments, or sieges of cities."
Author: Plutarch
38. "A man inferior with the blade or with his thoughts can still so elevate himself," Entreri explained curtly, "if he can impart the belief that some god or other speaks through him. It is the greatest deception in all the world and one embraced by kings and lords, while the minor lying thieves on the streets or Calimport and other cities lose their tongues for so attempting to coax the purses of others."
Author: R.A. Salvatore
39. "Darwinism by itself did not produce the Holocaust, but without Darwinism... neither Hitler nor his Nazi followers would have had the necessary scientific underpinnings to convince themselves and their collaborators that one of the worlds greatest atrocities was really morally praiseworthy."
Author: Richard Weikart
40. "Traveling for modeling has been great, but I never really have much time to live the tourist life while in all the different cities."
Author: Rila Fukushima
41. "A thousand stories had painted cities in his mind, the great cities of kings and queens, of thrones and powers and legends, and Caemlyn fit into those mind-deep pictures and water fits into a jug."
Author: Robert Jordan
42. "Rapid change, accommodating it can be one of the great human capacities. But living through it can be the stuff of stress and often suffering."
Author: Ron Suskind
43. "The Doctor: The Fourth Great and Bountiful Human Empire. And there it is: planet Earth at its height. Covered with megacities, five moons, population 96 billion. The hub of a galactic domain, stretching across a million planets, a million species. With mankind right in the middle.[Adam faints]The Doctor: [leans towards Rose, still looking out over the Earth] He's your boyfriend."
Author: Russell T. Davies
44. "Because he let the entire world press upon him. For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organized power. Subject to tremendous controls. In a condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person.Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who have discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do."
Author: Saul Bellow
45. "Justin is twenty-four years old: the world will never be more suited to him than it is now, he will never feel more embraced by life or have greater faith in his right to exist. The earth and the oxygen, the cities and lights, the nights and the beaches seem created for him and for those like him."
Author: Sonya Hartnett
46. "For us hunting wasn't a sport. It was a way to be intimate with nature, that intimacy providing us with wild unprocessed food free from pesticides and hormones and with the bonus of having been produced without the addition of great quantities of fossil fuel. In addition, hunting provided us with an ever scarcer relationship in a world of cities, factory farms, and agribusiness, direct responsibility for taking the lives that sustained us. Lives that even vegans indirectly take as the growing and harvesting of organic produce kills deer, birds, snakes, rodents, and insects. We lived close to the animals we ate. We knew their habits and that knowledge deepened our thanks to them and the land that made them."
Author: Ted Kerasote
47. "Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled."
Author: Theodore Roosevelt
48. "I really love this city. It's so very beautiful. It's so multidimensional.People say it has a darkness and a decadence, which it tries to hide; they say it's full of the pretentious and opulent trying to strangle the dark reality. But that's true for most of the other great cities too. . . .There is a soul here . . . and that soul is as pure as the heat of the sun that shines down on it and the rain that falls to purify it."
Author: Umair Naeem
49. "Prayed for the poor and destitute in great cities, where the struggle for life was harder than it was here with us."
Author: Willa Cather
50. "You came to tell us that the great cities are in favour of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile plains. Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic. But destroy out farms and the grass will grow in the city...You shall not press down upon the brow of labour this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."
Author: William Jennings Bryan

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Humans are our food. You don't want to have sex with a cow, do you?"
Author: Christopher Farnsworth

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