Photo Essay

The Big City

More and more of us live in cities. As of 2010, more than half the world's people lived in an urban area. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city. That's very different from the past 100,000 years or so, and it's happening very fast. So what's it doing to us?

Here's what a few people smarter than I had to say about it. I collect here the following thoughts about cities (and food for thought) and will refrain from drawing my own tawdry conclusions:

"The land created me. I'm wild and lonesome. Even as I travel the cities, I'm more at home in the vacant lots." - Bob Dylan

"We are in danger of making our cities places where business goes on but where life, in its real sense, is lost." - Hubert H. Humphrey

"I have never felt salvation in nature. I love cities above all." - Michelangelo

"All cities are mad: but the madness is gallant. All cities are beautiful: but the beauty is grim." - Christopher Morley

"Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night." - Rupert Brooke

And finally, my favourite observation by one of my favourite poets:

"And one by one the nights between our separated cities are joined to the night that unites us." - Pablo Neruda

I have tried to capture some of those ideas and feelings in my pictures here.

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14 responses

  • ! Mario Scattoloni ¡

    ! Mario Scattoloni ¡ gave props (23 Sep 2013):

    GR8 1 & I´m loving the fact your writing a story here on JPG. Congrats

  • Andrew Dutton

    Andrew Dutton (Deleted) gave props (23 Sep 2013):

    Great essay and quotes...Photos really capture the various moods cities evoke

  • Saroj Swain

    Saroj Swain gave props (24 Sep 2013):

    Superb....images and story,,,, Vote Aaron!!!

  • Bailey Cooper

    Bailey Cooper said (25 Sep 2013):

    Great images. Even greater selection of quotes. Neruda has always owned my heart but the Brooke's quote is my favorite here... fitting... words that make one linger. Tossing my chad your way.

  • James Wiley

    James Wiley gave props (26 Sep 2013):

    Excellent selection of photos Aaron!

  • Iris Wordsworth

    Iris Wordsworth gave props (26 Sep 2013):

    Wild and lonesome! Great quote to describe city living

  • JPG

    JPG   gave props (29 Sep 2013):

    Congrats on Story of the Week!

  • Aaron Schwartz

    Aaron Schwartz said (29 Sep 2013):


  • catharine amato

    catharine amato gave props (30 Sep 2013):

    Congratulations!Excellent text and images.

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (1 Oct 2013):

    Wonderful and congrats on story of the week!!

  • Cindy Romero

    Cindy Romero gave props (2 Oct 2013):

    great collection of photos and quotes!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (3 Oct 2013):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (3 Oct 2013):

    Congrats on making Story of the Week!

  • Deborah Downes

    Deborah Downes gave props (11 Oct 2013):

    A belated congrats on your well deserved story of the week. Brilliant essay.

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