Cambridge City Quotes

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Anyone who lives in a city will know the feeling of having been there too long. The gorge-vision that the streets imprint on us, the sense of blockage, the longing for surfaces other than glass, brick, concrete and tarmac....I have lived in Cambridge on and off for a decade, and I imagine I will continue to do so for years to come. And for as long as I stay here, I know I will have to also get to the wild places.
Robert Macfarlane
Could you just imagine? If every suicide rose--think of Faulkner's Quentin Compson as a vampire. I don't hate the South I don't I don't. She wondered how they'd have worked it out in Cambridge when Quentin threw himself off the Andersen bridge into the Charles amid the odor of the honeysuckle, not the beer, sweat, rum, and tainted magnolias of this city, precariously beneath the level of the water. The Compson blood had thinned out; at least this way, he's restore it after a fashion.
Susan Shwartz (Carpetbagger)
Beyond this point on the river Cambridge became a kind of miniature Venice, its river water lapping up against the ancient stone of college walls, here mottled and reddened brick, there white stone. Stained, lichened, softened by water light. Here the river became a great north-south tunnel, a gothic castle from the river, flanked by locked iron gates, steps leading nowhere, labyrinths, trapdoors, landing stages where barges had unloaded their freight: crates of fine wines, flour, oats, candles, fine meats carried into the damp darkness of college cellars.
Rebecca Stott (Ghostwalk)
How could the wind be so strong, so far inland, that cyclists coming into the town in the late afternoon looked more like sailors in peril? This was on the way into Cambridge, up Mill Road past the cemetery and the workhouse. On the open ground to the left the willow-trees had been blown, driven and cracked until their branches gave way and lay about the drenched grass, jerking convulsively and trailing cataracts of twigs. The cows had gone mad, tossing up the silvery weeping leaves which were suddenly, quite contrary to all their exper- ience, everywhere within reach. Their horns were festooned with willow boughs. Not being able to see properly, they tripped and fell. Two or three of them were wallowing on their backs, idiotically, exhibiting vast pale bellies intended by nature to be always hidden. They were still munching. A scene of disorder, tree-tops on the earth, legs in the air, in a university city devoted to logic and reason.
Penelope Fitzgerald (The Gate of Angels)
Walking alone is a city that's not my own, I think of what Virginia Woolf wished for the women in Cambridge who came to hear her speak in 1928. 'By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle,' she said, 'to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep in the stream.
Stephanie Rosenbloom (Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude)
The range and variety of Chaucer's English did much to establish English as a national language. Chaucer also contributed much to the formation of a standard English based on the dialect of the East Midlands region which was basically the dialect of London which Chaucer himself spoke. Indeed, by the end of the fourteenth century the educated language of London, bolstered by the economic power of London itself, was beginning to become the standard form of written language throughout the country, although the process was not to be completed for several centuries. The cultural, commercial, administrative and intellectual importance of the East Midlands (one of the two main universities, Cambridge, was also in this region), the agricultural richness of the region and the presence of major cities, Norwich and London, contributed much to the increasing standardisation of the dialect.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
Essex raised its ugly head. When i was a scholarship boy at the local grammar, son of a city-hall toiler on the make, this country was synonymous with liberty, success, and Cambridge. Now look at it. Shopping malls and housing estates pursue their creeping invasion of our ancient land. A North Sea wind snatched frilly clouds in its teeth and scarpered off to the midlands. The countryside proper began at last. My mother had a cousin out here, her family had a big house. I think they moved to Winnipeg for a better life. There! There, in the shadow of that DIY warehouse, once stood a row of walnut trees where me and Pip Oakes - a childhood chum who died aged thirteen under the wheels of an oil tanker - varnished a canoe one summer and sailed it alone the Say. Sticklebacks in jars,. There, right there, around that bend we lit a fire and cooked beans and potatoes wrapped in silver foil! Come back, oh, come back! Is one glimpse all I get?
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Targeted transportation options like Bridj are designed to take cars off the road. Investors, at least, see the potential; Bridj just announced it raised $4 million in funding . And the company is poised to get permits it needed from Boston and Brookline without any opposition. (A hearing on the license in Cambridge is expected next month.) It’s reasonable for city governments to keep tabs on any disruptions that new apps create. While the Boston City Council’s move to ban the parking app Haystack was at best premature, fears that the app might encourage churlish behavior were well-placed. Occasional problems experienced by users of Airbnb, the online home-rental marketplace that the Boston council plans to tackle in an upcoming hearing, deserve a close look.
Anonymous
Cambridge or Boston. The same urban tech migration is playing out in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City as some of the hottest tech companies in those areas establish themselves in downtown offices. For example, Twitter Inc. is headquartered in the gritty Mid-Market neighborhood in San Francisco, and the crowdfunding site Kickstarter Inc. opened its headquarters in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, N.Y. “It didn’t surprise me that young people wanted to move back to the city, because cities are fun,’’ said Richard Florida, director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto. “What really surprised me was this move among tech firms back to the cities.
Anonymous
Criminals beheaded in Palermo, heretics burned alive in Toledo, assassins drawn and quartered in Paris—Europeans flocked to every form of painful death imaginable, free entertainment that drew huge crowds. London, the historian Fernand Braudel tells us, held public executions eight times a year at Tyburn, just north of Hyde Park. (The diplomat Samuel Pepys paid a shilling for a good view of a Tyburn hanging in 1664; watching the victim beg for mercy, he wrote, was a crowd of "at least 12 or 14,000 people.") In most if not all European nations, the bodies were impaled on city walls and strung along highways as warnings. "The corpses dangling from trees whose distant silhouettes stand out against the sky, in so many old paintings, are merely a realistic detail," Braudel observed. "They were part of the landscape." Between 1530 and 1630, according to Cambridge historian V.A.C. Gatrell, England executed seventy-five thousand people. At that time, its population was about three million, perhaps a tenth that of the Mexica empire. Arithmetic suggests that if England had been the size of the Triple Alliance, it would have executed, on average, 7,500 people per year, roughly twice the number Cortes estimated for the empire. France and Spain were still more bloodthirsty than England, according to Braudel.
Charles C. Mann (1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus)
Whereas both Prisoner’s Dilemma and The Twenty-Seventh City explore the limitations of neoliberalism in the context of real political change, Wallace’s early work is conspicuously apolitical, and in this aspect he can also be seen to embody a uniquely Gen X ethos. In the context of our current hyperpartisan, thoroughly politicized era, it is easy to overlook the fact that Wallace’s ascent to the top ranks of the US literary establishment took place during a rare, brief, and, as these kinds of things always turn out to be, false period of relative historical complacency. The collapse of the Soviet Union occurred two years after the 1987 appearance of The Broom of the System; by September 11, 2001, Wallace had published Infinite Jest, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (1997), and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (1999). Beginning with his Rolling Stone essay on the 9/11 attacks, “The View from Mrs. Thompsons,’” and continuing through to his blistering portrait of right-wing radio host John Ziegler and, of course, his unfinished novel The Pale King (2011), Wallace’s work became more political, and more pointed, the political partisanship of the new century replacing pop-culture irony in his work as the source of our isolation and failure to find real meaning and purpose in our life.
Ralph Clare (The Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace (Cambridge Companions to Literature))
no man is the slave either of another man or of sin”: Augustine, City of God 19.15, ed. and trans. R. W. Dyson (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 943.
Andy Crouch (Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power)
She was not alone. “There’s a definite panic on the hip scene in Cambridge,” wrote student radical Raymond Mungo that year, “people going to uncommonly arduous lengths (debt, sacrifice, the prospect of cold toes and brown rice forever) to get away while there’s still time.” And it wasn’t just Cambridge. All over the nation at the dawn of the 1970s, young people were suddenly feeling an urge to get away, to leave the city behind for a new way of life in the country. Some, like Mungo, filled an elderly New England farmhouse with a tangle of comrades. Others sought out mountain-side hermitages in New Mexico or remote single-family Edens in Tennessee. Hilltop Maoists traversed their fields with horse-drawn plows. Graduate students who had never before held a hammer overhauled tobacco barns and flipped through the Whole Earth Catalog by the light of kerosene lamps. Vietnam vets hand-mixed adobe bricks. Born-and-bred Brooklynites felled cedar in Oregon. Former debutants milked goats in Humboldt County and weeded strawberry beds with their babies strapped to their backs. Famous musicians forked organic compost into upstate gardens. College professors committed themselves to winter commutes that required swapping high heels for cross-country skis. Computer programmers turned the last page of Scott and Helen Nearing’s Living the Good Life and packed their families into the car the next day. Most had no farming or carpentry experience, but no matter. To go back to the land, it seemed, all that was necessary was an ardent belief that life in Middle America was corrupt and hollow, that consumer goods were burdensome and unnecessary, that protest was better lived than shouted, and that the best response to a broken culture was to simply reinvent it from scratch.
Kate Daloz (We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s on the Quest for a New America)
The fair awakened America to beauty and as such was a necessary passage that laid the foundation for men like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. For Burnham personally the fair had been an unqualified triumph. It allowed him to fulfill his pledge to his parents to become the greatest architect in America, for certainly in his day he had become so. During the fair an event occurred whose significance to Burnham was missed by all but his closest friends: Both Harvard and Yale granted him honorary master’s degrees in recognition of his achievement in building the fair. The ceremonies occurred on the same day. He attended Harvard’s. For him the awards were a form of redemption. His past failure to gain admission to both universities—the denial of his “right beginning”—had haunted him throughout his life. Even years after receiving the awards, as he lobbied Harvard to grant provisional admission to his son Daniel, whose own performance on the entry exams was far from stellar, Burnham wrote, “He needs to know that he is a winner, and, as soon as he does, he will show his real quality, as I have been able to do. It is the keenest regret of my life that someone did not follow me up at Cambridge … and let the authorities know what I could do.” Burnham had shown them himself, in Chicago, through the hardest sort of work. He bristled at the persistent belief that John Root deserved most of the credit for the beauty of the fair. “What was done up to the time of his death was the faintest suggestion of a plan,” he said. “The impression concerning his part has been gradually built up by a few people, close friends of his and mostly women, who naturally after the Fair proved beautiful desired to more broadly identify his memory with it.
Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America)
Cambridge by moonlight was light blue and brownish black. There was no mist here and a great vault of clear stars hung over the city with an intent luxurious brilliance. It was the sort of night when one knows of other galaxies. My long shadow glided before me on the pavement. Although it was not yet eleven o'clock the place seemed empty and I moved through it like a mysterious and lonely harlequin in a painting: like an assassin.
Iris Murdoch (A Severed Head)
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Ashima feels lonely suddenly, horribly, permanently alone, and briefly, turned away from the mirror, she sobs for her husband. She feels overwhelmed by the thought of the move she is about to make, to the city that was once home and is now in its own way foreign. She feels both impatience and indifference for all the days she still must live, for something tells her she will not go quickly as her husband did. For thirty-three years she missed her life in India. Now she will miss her job at the library, the women with whom she's worked. She will miss throwing parties. She will miss living with her daughter, the surprising companionship they have formed, going into Cambridge together to see old movies at the Brattle, teaching her to cook the food Sonia had complained of eating as a child. She will miss the opportunity to drive, as she sometimes does on her way home from the library, to the university, past the engineering building where her husband once worked. She will miss the country in which she had grown to know and love her husband. Though his ashes have been scattered into the Ganges, it is here, in this house and in this town, that he will continue to dwell in her mind.
Anonymous
The week of the Reagan funeral, makeshift shrines of flowers and such sprung up at Eureka College and in Dixon, Illinois, at the presidential library in Simi Valley, at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, at the Reagan home in Bel Air, and in towns and villages across the nation. Memorials appeared, too, in Prague and Budapest and in cities and villages across the former “Captive Nations” of the Baltics, as well as in the former Warsaw Pact countries. Few, if any, were visible on the campus of Harvard or in the tony Georgetown section of Washington, nor in the Upper West Side of Manhattan or in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Craig Shirley (Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan)
Do people believe that police in their city and neighborhood treat individual whites and minorities differently? Most blacks and Hispanics believe that police in their city treat blacks worse than whites; three-quarters of blacks and just over half of Hispanics take this view. Roughly the same percentages think that police treat Hispanics worse than whites. Whites tend to take the opposite view: Three-quarters of whites, for instance, believe that police in their city treat whites the same as the two minority groups.
Ronald Weitzer (Race and Policing in America: Conflict and Reform (Cambridge Studies in Criminology))
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