Street Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 1713 quotes )
I took the sleeper out of Glasgow, and as the smelly old train bumped out of Central Station and across the Jamaica Street Bridge, I stared out at the orange halogen streetlamps reflected in the black water of the river Clyde. I gazed at the crumbling Victorian buildings that would soon be sandblasted and renovated into yuppie hutches. I watched the revelers and rascals traverse the shiny wet streets. I thought of the thrill and danger of my youth and the fear and frustration of my adult life thus far. I thought of the failure of my marriage and my failures as a man. I saw all this through my reflection in the nighttime window. Down the tracks I went, hardly aware that I was going further south with every passing second.
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.
If it falls to your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music ... Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the host of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.
... Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes — gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another’s umbrellas, in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street-corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest.
Paris was a universe whole and entire unto herself, hollowed and fashioned by history; so she seemed in this age of Napoleon III with her towering buildings, her massive cathedrals, her grand boulevards and ancient winding medieval streets--as vast and indestructible as nature itself. All was embraced by her, by her volatile and enchanted populace thronging the galleries, the theaters, the cafes, giving birth over and over to genius and sanctity, philosophy and war, frivolity and the finest art; so it seemed that if all the world outside her were to sink into darkness, what was fine, what was beautiful, what was essential might there still come to its finest flower. Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her--and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris.
Is there anything, apart from a really good chocolate cream pie and receiving a large unexpected cheque in the post, to beat finding yourself at large in a foreign city on a fair spring evening, loafing along unfamiliar streets in the long shadows of a lazy sunset, pausing to gaze in shop windows or at some church or lovely square or tranquil stretch of quayside, hesitating at street corners to decide whether that cheerful and homy restaurant you will remember fondly for years is likely to lie down this street or that one? I just love it. I could spend my life arriving each evening in a new city.
Discussing it later, many of us felt we suffered a mental dislocation at that moment, which only grew worse through the course of the remaining deaths. The prevailing symptom of this state was an inability to recall any sound. Truck doors slammed silently; Lux's mouth screamed silently; and the street, the creaking tree limbs, the streetlight clicking different colors, the electric buzz of the pedestrian crossing box - all these usually clamorous voices hushes, or had begun shrieking at a pitch too high for us to hear, though they sent chills up our spines. Sound returned only once Lux had gone. Televisions erupted with canned laughter. Fathers splashed, soaking aching backs.
From the cab stepped a tall old man. Black raincoat and hat and a battered valise. He paid the driver, then turned and stood motionless, staring at the house. The cab pulled away and rounded the corner of Thirty-sixty Street. Kinderman quickly pulled out to follow. AS he turned the corner, he noticed that the tall old man hadn't moved but was standing under the streetlight glow, in mist, like a melancholy traveler frozen in time.
There is a certain unique and strange delight about walking down an empty street alone. There is an off-focus light cast by the moon, and the streetlights are part of the spotlight apparatus on a bare stage set up for you to walk through. You get a feeling of being listened to, so you talk aloud, softly, to see how it sounds.
As the day light left the city that night, the streetlamps were not up to anything like their usual candle-power. It was difficult to make anything out clearly. Ordinary social restraints were apt to be defective or not there at all. The screaming that went on all night, ignored as background murmur during the day, now, absent the clamor of street traffic, had taken on urgency and despair? a chorale of pain just about to pass from its realm of the invisible into something that might actually have to be dealt with. Figures which late at night appeared only in levels of grey were now seen to possess color, not the fashionable shades of daytime but blood reds, morgue yellows, and poison greens.
The streetlight outside my house shines on tonight and I'm watching it like it could give me a vision. James ain't talked ever and he looks at that streetlight like it was a word and maybe like it was a verb. James wanted to streetlight me and make me bright and beautiful so all the moths and bats would circle me like I was the center of the world an held secrets.
Memory in these incomparable streets, in mosaics of pain and sweetness, was clear to me now, a unity at last. I remembered small and unimportant things from the past: the whispers of roommates during thunderstorms, the smell of brass polish on my fingertips, the first swim at Folly Beach in April, lightning over the Atlantic, shelling oysters at Bowen's Island during a rare Carolina snowstorm, pigeons strutting across the graveyard at St. Philip's, lawyers moving out of their offices to lunch on Broad Street, the darkness of reveille on cold winter mornings, regattas, the flash of bagpipers' tartans passing in review, blue herons on the marshes, the pressure of the chinstrap on my shako, brotherhood, shad roe at Henry's, camellias floating above water in a porcelain bowl, the scowl of Mark Santoro, and brotherhood again.
A lady known as Paris, Romantic and Charming. Has left her old companions and faded from view. Lonely men with lonely eyes are seeking her in vain. Her streets are where they were, but there's no sign of her. She has left the Seine. The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, I heard the laughter of her heart in every street caf. The last time I saw Paris, her trees were dressed for spring, And lovers walked beneath those trees and birds found songs to sing. I dodged the same old taxicabs that I had dodged for years. The chorus of their squeaky horns was music to my ears. The last time I saw Paris, her heart was warm and gay, No matter how they change her, I'll remember her that way. I'll think of happy hours, and people who shared them. Old women, selling flowers, in markets at dawn. Children who applauded, Punch and Judy in the park. And those who danced at night and kept our Paris bright'til the town went dark.
I wander thro' each charter'd street, Near where the charter'd Thames does flow, And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness, marks of woe. In every cry of every Man, In every Infant's cry of fear, In every voice, in every ban, The mind-forg'd manacles I hear. How the Chimney-sweeper's cry Every black'ning Church appalls; And the hapless Soldier's sigh Runs in blood down Palace walls. But most thro' midnight streets I hear How the youthful Harlot's curse Blasts the new born Infant's tear, And blights with plagues the Marriage hearse.
The town was sunk in a kind of crystal ball; everyone seemed to be asleep (transcendentally asleep!) no matter if they were walking or sitting outside. Around five the sky clouded over and at six it began to rain. The streets cleared all at once. I had the thought that if it was as if autumn had unsheathed a claw and scratched: everything was coming apart. The tourists running on the sidewalks in search of shelter, the shopkeepers pulling tarps over the merchandise displayed in the street, the increasing number of shop windows closed until next summer. Whether I felt pity or scorn when I saw this, I don't know. Detached from any external stimulus, the only thing I could see or feel with any clarity was myself. Everything else had been bombarded by something dark; movie sets consigned to dust and oblivion, as if for good.
The summer ended. Day by day, and taking its time, the summer ended. The noises in the street began to change, diminish, voices became fewer, the music sparse. Daily, blocks and blocks of children were spirited away. Grownups retreated from the streets, into the houses. Adolescents moved from the sidewalk to the stoop to the hallway to the stairs, and rooftops were abandoned. Such trees as there were allowed their leaves to fall - they fell unnoticed - seeming to promise, not without bitterness, to endure another year. At night, from a distance, the parks and playgrounds seemed inhabited by fireflies, and the night came sooner, inched in closer, fell with a greater weight. The sound of the alarm clock conquered the sound of the tambourine, the houses put on their winter faces. The houses stared down a bitter landscape, seeming, not without bitterness, to have resolved to endure another year.
Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks, then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission, you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you work hard for thirty five years and you pay it back and then one day you have a massive stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to walk and the power to talk and then one day you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street, and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe