Cities are distinguished by the catastrophic forms they presuppose and which are a vital part of their essential charm. New York is King Kong, or the blackout, or vertical bombardment: Towering Inferno. Los Angeles is the horizontal fault, California breaking off and sliding into the Pacific: Earthquake.
Have you known how to take rest? You have done more than he who hath taken empires and cities.
Holidays are in no sense an alternative to the congestion and bustle of cities and work. Quite the contrary. People look to escape into an intensification of the conditions of ordinary life, into a deliberate aggravation of those conditions: further from nature, nearer to artifice, to abstraction, to total pollution, to well above average levels of stress, pressure, concentration and monotony -- this is the ideal of popular entertainment. No one is interested in overcoming alienation; the point is to plunge into it to the point of ecstasy. That is what holidays are for.
Poverty has, in large cities, very different appearances. It is often concealed in splendor, and often in extravagance. It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is lost in contriving for tomorrow.
I'm absolutely convinced that the threat we face now, the idea of a terrorist in the middle of one of our cities with a nuclear weapon, is very real and that we have to use extraordinary measures to deal with it.
Park and open-space efforts can be described as an institutional reflection of the principal means by which urban man has historically engaged in the Edenic search. He has, since the beginnings of civilization, sought gardeners in his cities, a pastoral landscape outside of his cities, and wilderness for retreat away from his cities. Baghdad boasts a thousand gardens; Alexander set aside one quarter of his North African city as a park;...wilderness served as retreat for Jesus of Nazareth, as it did later for the Waldenisians and the Franciscans; and mediation in the wilderness is a common theme in Far Eastern cultures. Thus, there is good evidence that a prosperity for greenery as a substitute Eden in urban civilizations is not a particularity of any single race, religion, or national culture.
Water is essential for all dimensions of life. Over the past few decades, use of water has increased, and in many places water availability is falling to crisis levels. More than eighty countries, with forty percent of the worldís population, are already facing water shortages, while by year 2020 the worldís population will double. The costs of water infrastructure have risen dramatically. The quality of water in rivers and underground has
deteriorated, due to pollution by waste and contaminants from cities, industry and agriculture. Ecosystems are being destroyed, sometimes permanently. Over one billion people lack safe water, and three billion lack sanitation; eighty per cent of infectious diseases are waterborne, killing millions of children each year.
In the fledgling days of the town, the notorious Block 16 was set aside for card games and prostitution. Sin and commerce have marched hand-in-hand ever since, but this alliance made Las Vegas no more atypical than any other American city of the time. The difference is that Las Vegas extolled with pride what other places sought to hide. To the commonplace culture of heavily populated cities and industrial towns that made up the urban fabric of the country, Las Vegas alone stood as the behavioral "Other," a land where the "victimless" crimes of sex, drink, and gambling were not only condoned, but celebrated.
The leaders of the Catholic Church endorsed The Exorcist ; virtually promoted it as much as they could. The Cardinals of New York and Los Angeles and Chicago and the other big cities, all over the world, they endorsed it because it represents a literal depiction of the Roman ritual of exorcism which still exists in the Catholic faith. It's still there. The power of faith to drive out demons. And this film showed that and they embraced it.
The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.
The wise can often profit by the lessons of a foe, for caution is the mother of safety. It is just such a thing as one will not learn from a friend and which an enemy compels you to know. To begin with, it's the foe and not the friend that taught cities to build high walls, to equip long vessels of war; and it's this knowledge that protects our children, our slaves and our wealth.
Well then, I agree, let us first hear them, for that is best; one can even learn something in an enemy's school.
You're mistaken: men of sense often learn from their enemies. Prudence is the best safeguard. This principle cannot be learned from a friend, but an enemy extorts it immediately. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war. And this lesson saves their children, their homes, and their properties.
It appears then that it will be better for us to hear what they have to say first; for one may learn something at times even from one's enemies.
Human nature is said by many to be good; if so, where have social evils come from? For human nature is the only moral nature in that corrupting thing called "society." Every example set before the child of to-day is the fruit of human nature. It has been planted on every possible field among the snows that never melt; in temperate regions, and under the line; in crowded cities, in lonely forests; in ancient seats of civilization, in new colonies; and in all these fields it has, without once failing, brought forth a crop of sins and troubles.
Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it is ruled by the authority of a prince, it is knit together by the pact of the confederacy; the booty is divided by the law agreed on. If, by the admittance of abandoned men, this evil increases to such a degree that it holds places, fixes abodes, takes possession of cities, and subdues peoples, it assumes the more plainly the name of a kingdom, because the reality is now manifestly conferred on it, not by the removal of covetousness, but by the addition of impunity. Indeed, that was an apt and true reply which was given to Alexander the Great by a pirate who had been seized. For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.
Sad is Eros, builder of cities,
And weeping anarchic Aphrodite.
By mourning tongues
The death of the poet was kept from his poems.
But for him it was his last afternoon as himself,
An afternoon of nurses and rumours;
The provinces of his body revolted,
The squares of his mind were empty,
Silence invaded the suburbs.
The current of his feeling failed: he became his admirers.
Now he is scattered over a hundred cities
And wholly given over to unfamiliar affections;
To find his happiness in another kind of wood
And be punished under a foreign code of conscience.
The words of a dead man
are modified in the guts of the living.
And this is where it went. In places all around the eastern Mediterranean the sea is separated from the mainland by strips of flat marshy land like this. Made up of the soil that once clothed the hills beyond. All this was deposited during the last 2000 years. This is the marsh that now separates the sea from the city of Ephesus. These ruined buildings mark the edge of the quay where once merchant ships lay moored. As the harbour died, so did the trade upon which the city's wealth was based, and so, well, ultimately did Ephesus itself. What was once one of the most splendid cities in the Roman Empire fell into decay and was abandoned.
At first, when California started winning its water lawsuits and shutting off cities, the displaced people just followed the waterright to California. It took a little while before the bureaucrats realized what was going on, but finally someone with a sharp pencil did the math and realized that taking in people along with their water didn't solve a water shortage.
We do not look in great cities for our best morality.
It is as difficult for towns and cities as it is for commercial houses to recover from ruin.
Look, I understand that for a lot of people, the US is superior to their country of residence in myriad ways, but I'm Australian. We have it all: the weather, the beautiful cities, the brand of football that involves neither padding yourself up like Santa Claus nor standing in a line in front of goal and covering your testicles.
Most human beings and all cities require the unscientific mixture of general and particular, necessity and chance, nature and convention. It is just this mixture that the philosopher cannot accept and which he separates into its constituent parts.
It is not so much stupidity that closes men to philosophy but love of their own, particularly love of their own lives, but also love of their own children and their own cities. It is the hardest task of all to face the lack of cosmic support for what we care about.