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The city as goal
E.B. White defines city


E.B. White, who was born in 1899 Mt. Vernon, a suburb of New York City, wrote for 'The New Yorker' on many subjects dear to the hearts of city dwellers. He wrote (of New York) that cities are three cities in one: the city of the man or woman who was born there and who takes the city for granted; second, the city of the commuter - who devours it each day and spits it out each night; and lastly the city of the person who was born somewhere else and came to the city in quest of something. Of these three the greatest (and he emphasises these words) is the city of final destination, the city that is the goal. It is the third city, he goes on, that accounts for the high-strung disposition, the poetical deportment, the dedication to the arts, the incomparable achievements - because 'settlers' give a city its passion.

Adapted from 'Definitions', 'New York: an Anthology', Cadogan Publications, 1985.