Pretty bloody good piece of writing on New York over at 3 Quarks Daily:
"It's an important irony that here in New York, in this city that is the finest achievement of modern American urban life, a city that fairly reeks of cool and sophistication, we are reduced (or refined) to our basest fundamental selves. Stringent isolation and the madness of the crowd coexist here, giving rise to New York's exquisite hybrids–the stone-faced mothers and muttering businessmen and sly derelicts. Had Darwin lived today, he would not have had to visit the Galápagos to induce his theory. Two weeks in the city–at the Pennsylvania Hotel across from Penn Station, perhaps–would serve him well enough to discern natural selection and test its mettle on the street. Indeed, New York is the result of 7,000 years of urban technology, the fantastic product of art, science and political method, and yet nowhere on Earth offers a comparable opportunity to observe human behavior in its purest instinctual form."
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