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Quotations about Places


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You can fall in love at first sight with a place as with a person. ~Alec Waugh


Some places speak distinctly. Certain dank gardens cry aloud for a murder; certain old houses demand to be haunted; certain coasts are set apart for shipwrecks. ~Robert Louis Stevenson


How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you — you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences — like rags and shreds of your very life. ~Katherine Mansfield


The worst of a modern stylish mansion is that it has no place for ghosts. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872


New York has a trip-hammer vitality which drives you insane with restlessness if you have no inner stabilizer. ~Henry Miller


California's a wonderful place to live — if you happen to be an orange. ~Author Unknown


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


Such, then, was our welcome to the Yosemite.... [I]f any single scene could in itself sum up all the chief beauties and marvels of our American West, this was the scene. Here was poetically epitomized and digested within the compass of a picture-frame much of the cliff-grandeur of the Arizona Canyon, the fascination of Yellowstone waterfalls, the call of Colorado's "silent peaks of aged snow," the charm of the huge park-like forests of the Pacific shore. It was the West at a glance. ~Robert Haven Schauffler, Romantic America, 1913


New York is to the nation what the white church spire is to the village — the visible symbol of aspiration and faith, the white plume saying the way is up! ~E.B. White


I had looked at the lights of Broadway by night.... I had looked, not without joy, at that long kaleidoscope of coloured lights arranged in large letters and sprawling trade-marks, advertising everything, from pork to pianos, through the agency of the two most vivid and most mystical of the gifts of God; colour and fire. ~G.K. Chesterton, "A Meditation in Broadway," What I Saw in America, 1922


I... wonder what it is in the New York air that enables me to sit up till all hours of the night in an atmosphere which in London would make a horse dizzy, but here merely clears the brain. ~James Agate


California can and does furnish the best bad things that are obtainable in America. ~Hinton R. Helper


Vehement silhouettes of Manhattan — that vertical city with unimaginable diamonds. ~Le Corbusier


They turned the country up on its side, and everything loose fell into California. ~Author Unknown


France is France and a grand place for Frenchman. ~Harry Truman, letter to Bess Wallace, 1918 May 5th


 
 
It isn't like the rest of the country — it is like a nation itself — more tolerant than the rest in a curious way. Littleness gets swallowed up here. All the viciousness that makes other cities vicious is sucked up and absorbed in New York. ~John Steinbeck


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


Las Vegas: all the amenities of modern society in a habitat unfit to grow a tomato. ~Jason Love


You're not dumb, you're just from California. ~Joe Clemente, to Guy Fieri, 2016  [Said in New Jersey at Dolce & Clemente's while filming an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, because Guy did not know the word "pockety," which apparently is large rigatoni pasta. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


You can learn more about human nature by reading the Bible than by living in New York. ~William Lyon Phelps


But I do like churches. The way it feels inside. It feels good when you just sit there, like you're in a forest and everything's really quiet, expect there's still this sound you can't hear. ~Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried


I'm thinking of my child, my little one, who's under the roots of the grass. Those others have still got them in the flesh walking about, yet they've gone off to look for a better place. But for me, all that was dear to me has become the grass and water of this place, and I'll stay here until I become part of this earth as well. ~Jean Giono (1895–1970), Regain, 1930, translated from the French by Henri Fluchè and Geoffrey Myers, Harvest, 1939 [a little altered –tg]


Gloria to Tony: The first noble truth is: life is suffering. But the Buddha preached joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.
Tony to Dr. Melfi, (later): Well, I am improving. I mean, you gotta participate joyfully in the suffering of the world.
Dr. Melfi: Your thoughts have a kind of Eastern flavor to them.
Tony: Well, I've lived in Jersey my whole life.
~Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos, "The Telltale Moozadell," original airdate 2001 April 22nd


California, that advance post of our civilization, with its huge aircraft factories, TV and film studios, automobile way of life... its flavourless cosmopolitanism, its charlatan philosophies and religions, its lack of anything old and well-tried rooted in tradition and character. ~J.B. Priestley


Growing up in a small town was great because you knew everybody, and it was horrible because everybody knew you — like having a town full of parents. ~John Atkins [On growing up in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Interview with Sean Marquette, aired after Schooled, "Glascott Mascot," 2019. A little altered. –tg]


A filing-cabinet of human lives
Where people swarm like bees in tunneled hive,
Each to his own cell in the towered comb,
Identical and cramped—we call it home.
~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), "Apartment House," 1968


There are some towns so small that your second best friend is your third worst enemy. ~FDA member, May 1976


Poetry in New York! In California it is, in a way, part of our life, with the sunshine and flowers, but you might as well expect orchids to grow on the walls of the sky scrapers as hope to find a soil for poetry in sterile and soulless Manhattan. ~A Californian, anonymous open letter to Miss Vera Fitch, 1910 October 29th


I think my favorite sport in the Olympics is the one in which you make your way through the snow, you stop, you shoot a gun, and then you continue on. In most of the world, it is known as the biathlon, except in New York City, where it is known as winter. ~Michael Ventre, L.A. Daily News


Teacher says that Mississippi
Is the Indian name for "Father of Waters."
Why don't they call it Mister-sippi?
And is Miss-ouri one of his daughters?
~A.D. Condo, "A Puzzled Geographer," in St. Nicholas, February 1906


[T]his is California. Blondes are like the state flower or something. ~From the television show Beverly Hills 90210, spoken by the character Steve Sanders


Everything native to Oklahoma was tough and warlike. Only the strong survived here. Our snakes came with venom and a warning signal. Our insects were armored against predators and dehydration. Our birds possessed talons, telescopic vision, and hollow bones. These animals were designed for hardship. All weakness and softness had been beaten out of their genetic lineage by the dust storms, the droughts, and the tornadoes. Disaster was as much a part of life in Oklahoma as the weather-worn sky. The crayfish were plated with complex carapaces. The coyotes were shy and clever, as elusive as dreams. The groundhogs dug deep burrows, safe from heat and wind. The turtles and frogs lived a halfway existence, dipping between tepid water and balmy air. The porcupines carried weaponry on their backs. The mule deer had lightning reflexes. The alligators were stupid but heavily armed. I was jealous of them all — their savage strength and vivid senses, their power and tenaciousness. The way they were born was the best way to be. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018 [How well this also applies to Arizona! –tg]


Sometimes you need to spend time in an empty desert to discover how full your soul is. ~Terri Guillemets


The tracks of the L Train are the manly stubble on the ruggedly handsome face of Chicago. ~Jason Sweeney


[A] duel in France, is not like one in England; the former is a matter of course; a trifle of common occurrence; one makes an engagement to fight, in the same breath as an engagement to dine; but the latter is a thing of state and solemnity—long faces—early rising—and will making. ~Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873), Pelham; or, The Adventures of a Gentleman, 1828


New York, the nation's thyroid gland. ~Christopher Morley, Shore Leave


Vermont? You don't mean that narrow, pinched-up little state on the wrong side of Boston? ~Dark Victory, 1939, written by Casey Robinson, based on a 1932 play In Time's Course by George Brewer, Jr. & Bertram Bloch, spoken by the character Judith Traherne


It is the land of perpetual pubescence, where cultural lag is mistaken for renaissance. ~Ashley Montagu, about California


What a dear old wall that is that runs along by the river there! I never pass it without feeling better for the sight of it. Such a mellow, bright, sweet old wall; what a charming picture it would make, with the lichen creeping here, and the moss growing there, a shy young vine peeping over the top at this spot, to see what is going on upon the busy river, and the sober old ivy clustering a little farther down! There are fifty shades and tints and hues in every ten yards of that old wall. If I could only draw, and knew how to paint, I could make a lovely sketch of that old wall, I'm sure. I've often thought I should like to live at Hampton Court. It looks so peaceful and so quiet, and it is such a dear old place to ramble round in the early morning before many people are about. ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), 1889


This school was on top of a hill so that God could see everything that went on. It looked like a cross between a prison and a church and it was. ~Quentin Crisp


A scream into the desert returns the echo of your own soul. ~Terri Guillemets


Disneyland is the only people trap operated by a mouse. ~Author Unknown


When its 100 degrees in New York, it's 72 in Los Angeles. When its 30 degrees in New York, in Los Angeles it's still 72. However, there are 6 million interesting people in New York, and 72 in Los Angeles. ~Neil Simon


Where is Hollywood located? Chiefly between the ears. In that part of the American brain lately vacated by God. ~Erica Jong


Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States! ~Commonly attributed to Porfirio Díaz but as yet unverified


California is a queer place — in a way, it has turned its back on the world, and looks into the void Pacific.... It's sort of crazy-sensible. Just the moment: hardly as far ahead as carpe diem. ~D.H. Lawrence


The final story, the final chapter of western man, I believe, lies in Los Angeles. ~Phil Ochs



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Last modified 2019 Oct 14 Mon 18:31 PDT


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