This one is doing the rounds:
Have you ever lived in the suburbs? … It’s sterile. It’s nothing. It’s wasting your life, and people do not wish to waste their lives once they’ve seen New York! … This rural American thing — I’m telling you, it’s a joke.
— The late Ed Koch.
It’s only in this sort of context that one can forgivably quote Ayn Rand:
That particular sense of sacred rapture men say they experience in contemplating nature- I’ve never received it from nature, only from. Buildings, Skyscrapers. I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? And then people tell me about pilgrimages to some dank pest-hole in a jungle where they go to do homage to a crumbling temple, to a leering stone monster with a pot belly, created by some leprous savage. Is it beauty and genius they want to see? Do they seek a sense of the sublime? Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window – no, I don’t feel how small I am – but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would like to throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.
I know that feeling.