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city, cities

quotations about cities of the world

Chicago
New Orleans
Rome
Saigon San Francisco Venice Washington, D.C.
       

 

 

City Quotes

God the first garden made, and the first city Cain.
- - - Abraham Cowley "The Garden"

The city as a center where, any day in any year, there may be a fresh encounter with a new talent, a keen mind or a gifted specialist-this is essential to the life of a country. To play this role in our lives a city must have a soul-a university, a great art or music school, a cathedral or a great mosque or temple, a great laboratory or scientific center, as well as the libraries and museums and galleries that bring past and present together. A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know.
- - - Margaret Mead

The city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo.
- - - Desmond Morris

In the morning the city
Spreads its wings
Making a song
In stone that sings.

In the evening the city
Goes to bed
Hanging lights
About its head.
- - - Langston Hughes

Oh, London is a man's town, there's power in the air;
And Paris is a woman's town, with flowers in her hair;
And it's sweet to dream in Venice, and it's great to study Rome;
But when it comes to living, there is no place like home.
- - - Henry Van Dyke

Quotations about Boston

In the course of my life I have tried Boston socially on all sides: I have summered it and wintered it, tried it drunk and tried it sober; and, drunk or sober, there's nothing in it--save Boston!
- - - Charles Francis Adams, Jr.

I have just returned from Boston. It is the only thing to do if you find yourself up there.
- - - Fred Allen

And this is good old Boston,
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God.
- - - John Collins Bossidy

I guess God made Boston on a wet Sunday.
- - - Raymond Chandler

It is not age which killed Boston, for no cities die of age; it is the youth of other cities.
- - - W. L. George

Boston is not a small New York, as they say a child is not a small adult but is, rather, a specially organized small creature with its small-creature's temperature, balance, and distribution of fat. In Boston there is an utter absence of that wild electric beauty of New York, of the marvelous, excited rush of people in taxicabs at twilight, of the great Avenues and Streets, the restaurants, theatres, bars, hotels, delicatessens, shops. In Boston the night comes down with an incredibly heavy, small-town finality. The cows come home; the chickens go to roost; the meadow is dark. Nearly every Bostonian is in his house or in someone else's house, dining at the home board, enjoying domestic and social privacy.
- - - Elizabeth Hardwick "Boston: The Lost Ideal," Harper's Magazine (December 1959)

This is a town where there are three pastimes: politics, sports, and revenge.
- - - Lawrence C. Moulter

Quotations about Chicago

The Chicago Tribune has come out against syphilis. Bet you 8 to 5 syphilis will win.
- - - Anonymous, 1940

Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.
- - - Nelson Algren, Newsweek, August 13, 1984

Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose.
- - - Nelson Algren

I'm a little hoarse tonight. I've been living in Chicago for the past two months, and you know how it is, yelling for help on the way home every night. Things are so tough in Chicago that at Easter time, for bunnies the little kids use porcupines.
- - - Fred Allen, Much Ado About Me, 1956

Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent.
- - - Dave Barry "Sex and the Single Amoeba: What Every Teen Should Know"

No realistic, sane person goes around Chicago without protection.
- - - Saul Bellow

I adore Chicago. It is the pulse of America.
- - - Sarah Bernhardt

It's a 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes; it's dark and we're wearing sun glasses. Hit it!
- - - The Blues Brothers

Perhaps the most typically American place in America.
- - - James Bryce, 1888

I am going to St. Petersburg, Florida, tomorrow. Let the worthy citizens of Chicago get their liquor the best they can. I'm sick of the job--it's a thankless one and full of grief. I've been spending the best years of my life as a public benefactor.
- - - Al Capone, 1927

Chicago is a city of contradictions, of private visions haphazardly overlaid and linked together. If the city was unhappy with itself yesterday-and invariably it was-it will reinvent itself today.
- - - Pat Colander "A Metropolis of No Little Plans" NY Times 5 May 85

I miss everything about Chicago, except January and February.
- - - Gary Cole

Could anything be more indicative of a slight but general insanity than the aspect of the crowd on the streets of Chicago?
Charles Horton Cooley "Human Nature and the Social Order," 1902

Chicago is the product of modern capitalism, and, like other great commercial centers, is unfit for human habitation.
- - - Eugene Debs, 1908

That's great advertising when you can turn Chicago into a city you'd want to spend more than three hours in.
- - - Jerry Della Femina

There's only one thing for Chicago to do, and that's to move to a better neighborhood.
- - - Herman Fetzer

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town.
- - - Fred Fisher "Chicago," (1922)

You walk out of the Amphitheatre after watching the Rolling Stones perform and suddenly the Chicago Stockyards smell clean and good by comaprison.
- - - Tom Fitzpatrick

A facade of skyscrapers facing a lake and behind the facade, every type of dubiousness.
- - - E.M. Forster

I don't have any great love for Chicago. What the hell, a childhood around Douglas Park isn't very memorable. I remember the street fights and how you were afraid to cross the bridge 'cause the Irish kid on the other side would beat your head in. I left Chicago a long time ago.
- - - "King of Swing" Benny Goodman, 1976

A lot of real Chicago lives in the neighborhood taverns. It is the mixed German and Irish and Polish gift to the city, a bit of the old country grafted into a strong new plant in the new.
- - - Bill Granger, 1983

In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago it's a sport. In Chicago not only your vote counts, but all kinds of other votes--kids, dead folks, and so on.
- - - Dick Gregory, Dick Gregory's Political Primer, 1972

The last copy of the Chicago Daily News I picked up had three crime stories on its front page. But by comparison to the gaudy days, this is small-time stuff. Chicago is as full of crooks as a saw with teeth, but the era when they ruled the city is gone forever.
- - - John Gunther, Inside U.S.A, 1947

Chicago sounds rough to the maker of verse. One comfort we have -- Cincinnati sounds worse.
- - - Oliver Wendell Holmes, January, 1880

I think that's how Chicago got started. A bunch of people in New York said, "Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west."
- - - Richard Jeni

I have struck a city - a real city - and they call it Chicago. . . . I urgently desire never to see it again. It is inhabited by savages.
- - - Rudyard Kipling, 1891

I've reported murders, scandals, marriages, premieres and national political conventions. I've been amused, intrigued, outraged, enthralled and exasperated by Chicago. And I've come to love this American giant, viewing it as the most misunderstood, most underrated city in the world. There is none other quite like my City of Big Shoulders.
- - - Irv Kupcinet, who began Kup's Column in 1941

Chicago - a pompous Milwaukee.
- - - Leonard Louis Levinson

Chicago seems a big city instead of merely a large place.
- - - A. J. Liebling, first to designate Chicago "The Second City," 1949

Chicago was a town where nobody could forget how the money was made. It was picked up from floors still slippery with blood.
- - - Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago, 1968

New York is one of the capitals of the world and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic, San Francisco is a lady, Boston has become Urban Renewal, Philadelphia and Baltimore and Washington wink like dull diamonds in the smog of Eastern Megalopolis, and New Orleans is unremarkable past the French Quarter. Detroit is a one-trade town, Pittsburgh has lost its golden triangle, St. Louis has become the golden arch of the corporation, and nights in Kansas City close early. The oil depletion allowance makes Houston and Dallas naught but checkerboards for this sort of game. But Chicago is a great American city. Perhaps it is the last of the great American cities.
- - - Norman Mailer, Miami and the Siege of Chicago, 1968

I like to go to Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see how many things there are in the world that I do not want.
- - - Mother Mary Madeleva, My First Seventy Years, 1959

There was no need to inform us of the protocol involved. We were from Chicago and knew all about cement.
- - - Groucho Marx, pressing his hands into the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

I give you Chicago. It is not London and Harvard. It is not Paris and buttermilk. It is American in every chitling and sparerib. It is alive from snout to tail.
- - - H. L. Mencken

Chicago is unique. It is the only completely corrupt city in America.
- - - Charles Merriam, unsuccessful mayoral candidate in 1911

Anywhere in the world you hear a Chicago bluesman play, it's a Chicago sound born and bred.
- - - Ralph Metcalfe

Hell has been described as a pocket edition of Chicago.
- - - Ashley Montagu "The American Way Of Life," 1967

Gigantic, willful, young,
Chicago sitteth at the northwest gates.
- - - William Vaughn Moody "An Ode in Time of Hesitation," 1901

Chicago has a strange metaphysical elegance of death about it.
- - - Claes Oldenburg

There are almost no beautiful cities in America, though there are many beautiful parts of cities, and some sections that are glorious without being beautiful, like downtown Chicago. Cities are too big and too rich for beauty; they have outgrown themselves too many times.
- - - Noel Perrin, Third Person Rural, 1983

It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago...
- - - Dan Quayle

It's one of the most progressive cities in the world. Shooting is only a sideline.
- - - Will Rogers, June 22, 1930

Here is the difference between Dante, Milton, and me. They wrote about hell and never saw the place. I wrote about Chicago after looking the town over for years and years.
- - - Carl Sandburg, in Harry Golden, Carl Sandburg, 1961

Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads and the nation's freight handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of big shoulders.
- - - Carl Sandburg, "Chicago," 1916

In the twilight, it was a vision of power.
- - - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

First in violence, deepest in dirt, lawless, unlovely, ill-smelling, irreverent, new; an overgrown gawk of a - village, the "tough" among cities, a spectacle for the nation.
- - - Lincoln Steffens, "The Shame of the Cities," 1904

Chicago will give you a chance. The sporting spirit is the spirit of Chicago.
- - - Lincoln Steffens "The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens," 1931

Chicago is not the most corrupt American city. It's the most theatrically corrupt.
- - - Studs Terkel, 1978

It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago-she outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.
- - - Mark Twain "Life On The Mississippi," 1883

Satan (impatiently) to Newcomer: The trouble with you Chicago people is, that you think you are the best people down here; whereas you are merely the most numerous.
- - - Mark Twain "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar," 1897

We struck the home trail now, and in a few hours were in that astonishing Chicago--a city where they are always rubbing a lamp, and fetching up the genii, and contriving and achieving new impossibilities. It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago--she outgrows her prophecies faster than she can make them. She is always a novelty; for she is never the Chicago you saw when you passed through the last time.
- - - Mark Twain "Life on the Mississippi," 1883

Chicago, mistress of the lakes,
Controller of our inland trade,
The freest city of our states,
What wondrous strides thy fame has made!
- - - Charles Frederick White "To Chicago"

Your machinery is beautiful. Your society people have apologized to me for the envious ridicule with which your newspapers have referred to me. Your newspapers are comic but never amusing. Your Water Tower is a castellated monstrosity with pepperboxes stuck all over it. I am amazed that any people could so abuse Gothic art and make a structure not like a water tower but like a tower of a medieval castle. It should be torn down. It is a shame to spend so much money on buildings with such an unsatisfactory result. Your city looks positively dreary.
- - - Oscar Wilde, February 13, 1882

My first day in Chicago, September 4, 1983. I set foot in this city, and just walking down the street, it was like roots, like the motherland. I knew I belonged here.
- - - Oprah Winfrey

Germany was the cause of Hitler as much as Chicago is responsible for the Chicago Tribune.
- - - Alexander Woollcott, 1943

Then stand to your glasses steady
And drink to your comrade's eyes
Here's a toast to the dead already
And hurrah for the next who dies.
- - - Drinking song popularized by Chicago reporters at the Whitechapel Club, Chicago's informal version of Washington's Gridiron Club

Quotations about Cincinnati

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later.
- - - Will Rogers

Quotations about Florence

Everything about Florence seems to be colored with a mild violet, like diluted wine.
- - - Henry James

This is the fairest picture on our planet, the most enchanting to look upon, the most satisfying to the eye and spirit. To see the sun sink down, drowned in his pink and purple and golden floods, and overwhelm Florence with tides of color that make all the sharp lines dim and faint and turn the solid city to a city of dreams, is a sight to stir the coldest nature, and make a sympathetic one drunk with ecstasy.
- - - Mark Twain "Autobiography," 1924

Quotations about Hollywood

It's a great place to live ... if you're an orange.
- - - Fred Allen

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.
- - - Fred Allen

Hollywood is like Picasso's bathroom.
- - - Candice Bergen

Hollywood ... was the place where the United States perpetrated itself as a universal dream and put the dream into mass production.
- - - Angela Carter

Hollywood is a place where a man can get stabbed in the back while climbing a ladder.
- - - William Faulkner

Hollywood has always been a cage . . . a cage to catch our dreams.
- - - John Huston

Hollywood, to hear some writers tell it, is the place where they take an author's steak tartare and make cheeseburger out of itů. Upon seeing the film, they say, the author promptly cuts his throat, bleeding to death in a pool of money.
- - - Fletcher Knebel

Hollywood is a place where the stars twinkle until they wrinkle.
- - - Victor Mature

A trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat.
- - - Wilson Mizner

Hollywood is a place where they'll pay you $50,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul.
- - - Marilyn Monroe

Hollywood, where an intrigue and a victim are born every time two people meet.
- - - Terry Moore

It's a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit there.
- - - Will Rogers

Hollywood is where they shoot too many pictures and not enough actors.
- - - Walter Winchell

Quotations about Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!
- - - Bible, Matthew 23:37

Jerusalem is a festival and a lamentation. Its song is a sigh across the ages, a delicate, robust, mournful psalm at the great junction of spiritual cultures.
- - - David K Shipler

Quotations about London

That monstrous tuberosity of civilized life, the capital of England.
- - - Thomas Carlyle

London is a roost for every bird.
- - - Benjamin Disraeli

London, thou art of townes A per se.
Soveraign of cities, semeliest in sight,
Of high renoun, riches, and royaltie;
Of lordis, barons, and many goodly knyght;
Of most delectable lusty ladies bright;
Of famous prelatis in habitis clericall;
Of merchauntis full of substaunce and myght:
London, thou art the flour of Cities all
- - - William Dunbar

You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
- - - Samuel Johnson

When it's three o'clock in New York, it's still 1938 in London.
- - - Bette Midler "London Times 21 Sep 78"

London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow
At once is deaf and loud.
- - - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Gay go up and gay go down,
To ring the bells of London town.
Halfpence and farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.
Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's.
- - - Unknown "The Bells of London"

This melancholy London - I sometimes imagine that the souls of the lost are compelled to walk through its streets perpetually. One feels them passing like a whiff of air.
- - - W. B. Yeats

Quotations about Los Angeles

I used to like this town.... Los Angeles was just a big dry sunny place with ugly homes and no style, but good-hearted and peaceful.... Now ... we've got the big money, the sharpshooters, the percentage workers, the fast dollar boys, the hoodlums out of New York and Chicago and Detroit-and Cleveland. We've got the flash restaurants and night clubs they run, and the hotels and apartment houses they own, and the grifters and con men and female bandits that live in the. The luxury trades, the pansy decorators, the Lesbian dress designers, the riff-raff of a big hardboiled city with no more personality than a paper cup.
- - - Raymond Chandler (Philip Marlowe, in "The Little Sister")

Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.
- - - David Letterman

The difference between Los Angeles and yogurt is that yogurt comes with less fruit.
- - - Rush Limbaugh

This is the city. Los Angeles, California. I work here. I carry a badge. My name's Friday. The story you are about to see is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
- - - Jack Webb (Sergeant Joe Friday, in "Dragnet")

Quotations about Miami

Miami Beach is where neon goes to die.
- - - Lenny Bruce

Quotations about New Orleans

New Orleans is one of the two most ingrown, self-obsessed little cities in the United States. (The other is San Francisco.)
- - - Nora Ephron

Quotations about New York

I love New York City; I've got a gun.
- - - Charles Barkley

New York ... is a city of geometric heights, a petrified desert of grids and lattices, an inferno of greenish abstraction under a flat sky, a real Metropolis from which man is absent by his very accumulation.
- - - Roland Barthes

New York is a sucked orange.
- - - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Not only is New York City the nation's melting pot, it is also the casserole, the chafing dish and the charcoal grill.
- - - John V Lindsay, Mayor of NYC, NY Times 10 Nov 66

Ah! some love Paris,
And some Purdue.
But love is an archer with a low I.Q.
A bold, bad bowman, and innocent of pity.
So I'm in love with
New York City.
- - - Phyllis McGinley "A Kind of Love Letter to New York"

A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.
- - - Mignon McLaughlin

The City of New York is like an enormous citadel, a modern Carcassonne. Walking between the magnificent skyscrapers one feels the presence on the fringe of a howling, raging mob, a mob with empty bellies, a mob unshaven and in rags.
- - - Henry Miller

New York, the nation's thyroid gland.
- - - Christopher Morley

And New York is the most beautiful city in the world? It is not far from it. No urban night is like the night there.... Squares after squares of flame, set up and cut into the aether. Here is our poetry, for we have pulled down the stars to our will.
- - - Ezra Pound

I moved to New York City for my health. I'm paranoid and New York was the only place where my fears were justified.
- - - Anita Weiss

The siren south is well enough, but New York, at the beginning of March, is a hoyden we would not care to miss-a drafty wench, her temperature up and down, full of bold promises and dust in the eye.
- - - E. B. White

New York is the great stone desert.
- - - Israel Zangwill

Quotations about Paris

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.
- - - Ernest Hemingway

When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold.
- - - Prince Metternich

April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom, holiday tables under the trees.
- - - E.Y. Harburg

I love Paris in the summer, when it sizzles.
- - - Cole Porter "I Love Paris"

When good Americans die they go to Paris.
- - - Oscar Wilde

Quotations about Philadelphia

The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It's only the people who make them unsafe.
- - - Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia

Quotations about Rome

Rome was a poem pressed into service as a city.
- - - Anatole Broyard

O Rome! my country! city of the soul!
- - - George Gordon, Lord Byron "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"

Rome was not built in one day.
- - - John Heywood "Proverbs" (1546)

Quotations about Saigon

Saigon was an addicted city, and we were the drug: the corruption of children, the mutilation of young men, the prostitution of women, the humiliation of the old, the division of the family, the division of the country-it had all been done in our name.... The French city ... had represented the opium stage of the addiction. With the Americans had begun the heroin phase.
- - - James Fenton

Quotations about San Francisco

To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars.
- - - Douglass Cross "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"

San Francisco is a mad city - inhabited for the most part by perfectly insane people whose women are of a remarkable beauty.
- - - Rudyard Kipling (1891)

It is an odd thing, but every one who disappears is said to be seen at San Francisco. It must be a delightful city, and possess all the attractions of the next world.
- - - Oscar Wilde (Lord Henry, in "The Picture of Dorian Gray")

Quotations about Venice

My beautiful, my own
My only Venice-this is breath! Thy breeze
Thine Adrian sea-breeze, how it fans my face!
Thy very winds feel native to my veins,
And cool them into calmness!
- - - George Gordon Noel Byron "The Two Foscari"

Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity,
The revel of the earth, the masque of Italy.
- - - George Gordon Noel Byron "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage"

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.
- - - Truman Capote

Until it seems the whole city (Venice-Venus)
will be covered with gold pollen shaken
from the bell-towers, lilies plundered
with the weight of massive bees . . .
- - - Hilda Doolittle "Tribute to the Angels"

A city for beavers.
- - - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is the city of mirrors, the city of mirages, at once solid and liquid, at once air and stone.
- - - Erica Jong

White swan of cities slumbering in thy nest . . .
White phantom city, whose untrodden streets
Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting
Shadows of the palaces and strips of sky.
- - - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow "Venice"

This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty-this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism.
- - - Thomas Mann

Underneath Day's azure eyes,
Ocean's nursling, Venice lies, -
A peopled labyrinth of walls,
Amphitrite's destined halls,
- - - Percy Bysshe Shelley "Lines Written among the Euganean Hills"

Quotations About Washington, D.C.

Aside from the murders, DC has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
- - - Marion Barry

People come to Washington believing it is the center of power. I know I did. It was only much later that I learned that Washington is a steering wheel that's not connected to an engine.
- - - Richard Goodwin

... Washington was not only an important capital. It was a city of fear. Below that glittering and delightful surface there is another story, that of underpaid Government clerks, men and women holding desperately to work that some political pull may at any moment take from them. A city of men in office and clutching that office, and a city of struggle which the country never suspects.
- - - Mary Roberts Rinehart

You want a friend in Washington? Get a dog.
- - - Harry S Truman

At a Washington party, it is not enough that the guests feel drunk; they must feel drunk and important.
- - - Thomas Wolfe

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