Metropolitan Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 41 quotes )
Before I opened my computer in the parking lot today, I relived one of my favorite memories. It's the one with Woody and me sitting on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum after it's closed. We're watching people parade out of the museum in summer shorts and sandals. The trees to the south are planted in parallel lines. The water in the fountain shoots up with a mist that almost reaches the steps we sit on. We look at silver-haired ladies in red-and-white-print dresses. We separate the mice from the men, the tourists from the New Yorkers, the Upper East Siders from the West Siders. The hot-pretzel vendor sells us a wad of dough in knots with clumps of salt stuck on top. We make our usual remarks about the crazies and wonder what it would be like to live in a penthouse apartment on Fifth Avenue overlooking the Met. We laugh and say the same things we always say. We hold hands and keep sitting, just sitting, as the sun beings to set. It's a perfect afternoon.
To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds.
This metropolitan world, then, is a world where flesh and blood is less real than paper and ink and celluloid. It is a world where the great masses of people, unable to have direct contact with more satisfying means of living, take life vicariously, as readers, spectators, passive observers: a world where people watch shadow-heroes and heroines in order to forget their own clumsiness or coldness in love, where they behold brutal men crushing out life in a strike riot, a wrestling ring or a military assault, while they lack the nerve even to resist the petty tyranny of their immediate boss: where they hysterically cheer the flag of their political state, and in their neighborhood, their trades union, their church, fail to perform the most elementary duties of citizenship.Living thus, year in and year out, at second hand, remote from the nature that is outside them and no less remote from the nature within, handicapped as lovers and as parents by the routine of the metropolis and by the constant specter of insecurity and death that hovers over its bold towers and shadowed streets - living thus the mass of inhabitants remain in a state bordering on the pathological. They become victims of phantasms, fears, obsessions, which bind them to ancestral patterns of behavior.
Does Britannia, when she sleeps, dream? Is America her dream?-- in which all that cannot pass in the metropolitan Wakefulness is allow'd Expression away in the restless Slumber of these Provinces, and on West-ward, wherever 'tis not yet mapp'd, nor written down, nor ever, by the majority of Mankind, seen,-- serving as a very Rubbish-Tip for subjunctive Hopes, for all that may yet be true,-- Earthly Paradise, Fountain of Youth, Realms of Prester John, Christ's Kingdom, ever behind the sunset, safe til the next Territory to the West be seen and recorded, measur'd and tied in, back into the Net-Work of Points already known, that slowly triangulates its Way into the Continent, changing all from subjunctive to declarative, reducing Possibilities to Simplicities that serve the ends of Governments,-- winning away from the realm of the Sacred, its Borderlands one by one, and assuming them unto the bare mortal World that is our home, and our Despair.
But that is who we are, that is where we come from. We are the offspring of metropolitan annihilation and destruction, of the war of all against all, of the conflict of each individual with every other individual, of a system governed by fear, of the compulsion to produce, of the profit of one to the detriment of others, of the division of people into men and women, young and old, sick and healthy, foreigners and Germans, and of the struggle for prestige. Where do we come from? From isolation in individual row-houses, from the suburban concrete cities, from prison cells, from the asylums and special units, from media brainwashing, from consumerism, from corporal punishment, from the ideology of nonviolence, from depression, from illness, from degradation, from humiliation, from the debasement of human beings, from all the people exploited by imperialism.
Rosenfeld runs the metropolitan staff, the Post's largest, like a football coach. He prods his players, letting them know that he has promised the front office results, pleading, yelling, cajoling, pacing, working his facial expressions for instant effects - anger, satisfaction, concern.-- Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
...God knows, when spring comes to Paris the humbles mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise....it [is] the the intimacy with which his eye rests upon the scene. It [is] his Paris. A man does not need to be rich, nor even a citizen, to feel this way about Paris. Paris is filled with poor people - the proudest and filthiest lot of beggars that ever walked the earth... And yet they give the illusion of being at home. It is that which distinguishes the Parisian from all other metropolitan souls. When I think of New York I have a very different feeling. New York makes even a rich man feel his unimportance. New York is cold, glisttering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit...Nobody knows what it's all about. Nobody directs the energy. Stupendous. Bizarre. Baffling. A tremendous reactive urge, but absolutely uncoordinated.
Hi. I’m Spider Jerusalem. I smoke. I take drugs. I drink. I wash every six weeks. I masturbate constantly and fling my steaming poison semen down from my window into your hair and food. I’m a rich and respected columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper. I live with two beautiful women in the city’s most expensive and select community. Being a bastard works.
Sometimes she’d just walk around the city alone. Watch the people, smell the food, the bus exhaust, the smoke coming up through the grating. She’d feel protected somehow, found a sense of belonging in the hectic sprawl. And the next minute she’d feel like the one who couldn’t break the code, hit the right stride, catch the wave. Potholes and traffic and bums, oh my. With all the honking and the hum of movement, the living, breathing blur of noise gently pressing in on her, the great purr of the Metropolitan Cat turning into a dull roar. She’d feel so silent on the inside, her head as quiet as a stretch of sand, a cathedral silently worshipping the life that was all around her, storing it up for later when she needed some 'too much' to draw upon.
And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better. If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.
Manhattanism is the one urbanistic ideology that has fed, from its conception, on the splendors and miseries of the metropolitan condition—hyper-density—without once losing faith in it as the basis for a desirable modern culture. Manhattan's architecture is a paradigm for the exploitation of congestion.
We lived on 82nd Street and the Metropolitan Museum was my short cut to Central Park. I wrote:"I go into the museumand look at all the pictures on the walls. Instead of feeling my own insignificance. I want to go straight home and paint."A great painting, or symphony, or play, doesn't diminish us, but enlarges us, and we, too, want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe. This surge of creativity has nothing to do with competition, or degree of talent. When I hear a superb pianist, I can't wait to get to my own piano, and I play about as well now as I did when I was ten. A great novel, rather than discouraging me, simply makes me want to write. This response on the part of any artist is the need to make incarnate the new awareness we have been granted through the genius of someone else.
Rosenfeld went to work for the Herald Tribune after his graduation from Syracuse University and has always been an editor, never a reporter. He was inclined to worry that too many reporters on the metropolitan staff were incompetent, and thought even the best reporters could be saved from self-destruction only by the skills of an editor. His natural distrust of reporters was particularly acute on the Watergate story, where the risks were very great, and he was in the uncomfortable position of having to trust Bernstein and Woodward more than he had ever trusted any reporters.-- Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
I began to like New York, the racy, adventurous feel of it at night and the satisfaction that the constant flicker of men and women and machines gives to the restless eye. I like to walk up Fifth Avenue and pick out romantic women from the crowd and imagine that in a few minutes I was going to enter their lives, and no one would ever know or disapprove. Sometimes, in my mind, I followed them to their apartments on the corners of hidden streets, and they turned and smiled back at me before they faded through a door into warm darkness. At the enchanted metropolitan twilight I felt a haunting loneliness sometimes, and felt it in others—poor young clerks who loitered in front of windows waiting until it was time for a solitary restaurant dinner—young clerks in the dusk, wasting the most poignant moments of night and life.
I've wondered why it took us so long to catch on. We saw it, and yet we didn't see it. Or rather we were trained not to see it. Conned perhaps into thinking that the real action was metropolitan and all this was just boring hinterland. It was a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, "Go away. I'm looking for the truth." And so it goes away. Puzzling.