There's No Place Like Home

People aren't rational about many things. Take their choices about where they prefer to live.

One thing I've never been able to understand is how people can actually enjoy living in Manhattan.The people who live there point to its numerous advantages: the shows, the excitement, the museums. One person I know even cited the great sales she could find; with an apartment costing $1000 per month considered a bargain, we are expected to believe that saving $10 on a pair of shoes justifies living in Manhattan. New York does a certain excitement to it -- in the subways for example. They're sort of like all the tragic rock concerts in history rolled into one -- the Rolling Stones at Atamont for the shooting and the Who at Cincinnatti for the crushing.

Another incomprehensible attitude some people (such as myself) exhibit is their preference for New England over California. Californians are tempted to seek the nearest medical help when, with the wind howling outside and the temperature 40 below, a New Englander suggests that a nice wood fire makes it all worthwhile. They just can't comprehend anyone not liking a climate which is just about as close to the air-conditioned American ideal as you can get.

Even when many Americans go abroad, you suspect that they would really rather be back home. Most stay and eat at the local Hilton Hotel because they are afraid to partake of the local cuisine lest they take ill like Aunt May did last year. Then they follow the tour guide from sight to sight, fed history in a condensed, purified TV dinner format. No wonder terrorists get the wrong idea about Americans when they see tour groups. They must think we are a nation of sheep.

Everyone has a right to pronounce foreign names as he chooses.
Winston Churchill

If man can live in Manhattan, he can live anywhere.
Arthur C. Clarke, Science fiction writer

Despite the fact that computer speeds are measured in nanoseconds and picoseconds -- one billionth and one trillionth of a second, respectively -- the smallest interval of time known to man is that which occurs in Manhattan between the traffic signal turning green and the taxi driver behind you blowing his horn.
Johnny Carson

New York should be saved because without it people would make even more jokes about Los Angeles.
Gary Anderson

New York has total depth in every area. Washington has only politics; after that, the second biggest thing is white marble.
John Lindsay

New Yorkers are nice about giving you street directions; in fact, they seem quite proud of knowing where they are themselves.
Katharine Brush

New York -- a city of 7,000,000 so decadent that when I leave it I never look back lest I turn into salt and the conducter throw me over his left shoulder for good luck.
Frank Sullivan

When a New Yorker looks like he has a suntan, it's probably rust.
Laurence J. Peter

If two New Hampshiremen aren't a match for the devil, we might as well give the country back to the Indians.
Stephen Vincent Benet

A New Hampshire pessimist in good summer form can fret about blizzards three or four years away.
John Skow

The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.
Joseph Wood Krutch

We sing about the North, but live as far south as possible.
J.B. McGeachey

Some American delusions: 1) That there is no class-consciousness in the country. 2) That American coffee is good. 3) That Americans are business-like. 4) That Americans are highly-sexed and that redheads are more highly sexed than others.
W. Somerset Maugham

No one should be required to see America for the first time.
Ashley Montagu

I have been abroad so long that I almost speak English without an accent.
Robert Benchley

Tobacco is the only excuse for Columbus's misadventure in discovering America.
Sigmund Freud

You remember the very old story about a citizen of Boston who heard a Texan talking about the glories of Bowie, Davy Crockett, and all the rest, and finally said, "Haven't you heard of Paul Revere?" To which the Texan answered, "Well, he was the man who ran for help."
John F. Kennedy

Half of San Antonio's population is of Mexican descent; the other half just eats that way.
Mike Greenberg

If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell.
General Philip Sheridan

Making Texans stand in line for gas is like making Kansans stand in line for wheat.
Harry Hubbard

Calling a taxi in Texas is like calling a rabbi in Iraq.
Fran Lebowitz

Washington is a city of Southern efficiency and Northern charm.
John F. Kennedy

They say Louisiana is somewhat like a banana republic, say Guatemala. That's not true. They speak better English in Guatemala.
Jack Kneece

Niagara Falls is simply a vast unnecessary amount of water going over the wrong way and then falling over unnecessary cliffs...The wonder would be if the water did not fall.
Oscar Wilde

We're Americans! Do you know what that means? It means our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world.
Bill Murray, in the film Stripes

Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.
Mary Ellen Kelly

California: Sunny nutland.
Edwin Diamond

California stretches out on the west coast of America like a centerfold from Playboy.
PBS Song at Twilight

Living in California adds ten years to a man's life. And those extra ten years, I'd like to spend in New York.
Harry Ruby

Climate is what brings people to California. Weather is what washes them away.
Robert Whitehead

Boston: Clear out eight hundred thousand people and preserve it as a museum piece. New York: Prison towers and modern posters for soap and whiskey. Pittsburgh: Abandon it.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Omaha is a little like Newark -- without Newark's glamour.
Joan Rivers

Just living in Los Angeles guarantees the loss of a few I.Q. points each year.
Rex Reed

Once every hundred years, the Los Angeles smog rolls away for a single night, leaving the air as clean as interstellar space. That way the gods can see if Los Angeles is still there. If it is, they roll the smog back so they won't have to look at it.
Larry Niven

There are in England sixty different religions and only one gravy, melted butter.
Marquis Caraccioli

An English summer: two fine days and a thunderstorm.
Michael Denham

The English instinctively admire any man who has no talent and is modest about it.
James Agate

It takes some skill to spoil a breakfast -- even the English can't do it.
John Kenneth Galbraith

On the Continent people have good food; in England people have good table manners.
George Mikes

I hate London when it's not raining.
Groucho Marx

The British capitalize on their accent when they don't want you to know what they're saying. But if you wake them up at 4 A.M., they speak perfect English, the same as we do.
Henry Kissinger

An Englishman teaching an American about food is like the blind leading the one-eyed.
A.J. Liebling

The English have this extraordianry respect for longevity. The best example of this was Queen Victoria, a most unpleasant woman who achieved a sort of public affection simply by living to be an enormous age.
Malcolm Muggeridge

If one could only teach the English how to talk and the Irish how to listen, society would be quite civilized.
Oscar Wilde

What a pity it is that we have no other amusements in England but vice and religion.
Sydney Smith

If the British can survive their meals, they can survive anything.
George Bernard Shaw

It is untrue that Germans are bad drivers. They hit everything they aim at.
Joey Adams

Although millions of Americans purr with pastel delusions of Mohandas K. Gandhi, those who actually live in the scrawny crank's homeland struggle to throw off the painful aftermath of his quackery.
R. Emmett Tyrell

I don't mind 800 million Chinese drinking a bottle [of Coca-Cola] a day, but I don't want them to bring back the empties.
Art Buchwald

The Philippines are ours forever. They are not capable of self- government. How could they be? They are not a self-governing race.
Sen. Albert Beveridge

We talk about "developing" nations even though some of them are developing back to the Pleistocene Age.
Jeffrey Hart

The Brazilian economy has grown over the past decade in much the same way as a Brazilian drives his car. That is extremely fast, disregarding everyone else on the road, narrowly avoiding accidents, and not stopping to consider whether his passangers have been left behind.
The Economist

Where but in Kenya can a man whose grandfather was a cannibal watch a really good game of polo?
Marina Sulzberger

In language gender is particularly confusing. Why, please, should a table be male in German, female in French, and castrated in English?
Marlene Dietrich

Do you realize that in the past sixty years, the only foreigners the French have been able to drive out are American tourists?
Robert Orben

Maybe the French will get a manned craft into space if they can get a rocket strong enough to lift a bottle of wine.
David Brinkley

It is unthinkable for a Frenchman to arrive at middle age without having syphilis and the Cross of the Legion of Honor.
Andre Gide

France is a country where the money falls apart in your hands and you can't tear the toilet paper.
Billy Wilder

In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.
Mark Twain

I like Paris. They don't talk so much of money, but more of sex.
Vera Stravinsky

The ignorance of French society gives one a rough sense of the infinite.
Joseph Renan

People are always asking me what the world will be like economically in the year 2000. I do know this: in the year 2000, no matter what else happens, there will still be good food in France.
Baron Guy de Rothschild

Ici on parle francais is written over the gates of hell.
Benjamin Jowitt

I want history to jump on Canada's spine with sharp skates.
Leonard Cohen

Saskatchewan is much like Texas -- except it's more friendly to the United States.
Adalai Stevenson

It makes little difference; Canada is useful only to provide me with furs.
Madame de Pompadour, on the fall of Quebec

For some reason a glaze passes over people's faces when you say Canada. Maybe we should invade South Dakota or something.
Sondra Gotleib, wife of one-time Canadian ambassador to the U.S.

Canada reminds me of vichyssoise - it's cold, half-French and difficult to stir.
Stuart Keate

Newfoundland: A piece of rock entirely surrounded by fog.

FOREIGN LANGUAGES: I don't see what all the fuss is about. After all, the rest of the world is going to have to learn English anyway.
Keeney Jones,excerpt from The Dartmouth Review course guide

Show me a nation whose national beverage is beer and I'll show you an advanced toilet technology.
Mark Hawkins

What's so admirable about small nations anyway? Uganda, North Vietnam, Ethiopia, Cuba? Malevolent little nuisances.
Jeffrey Hart

You can tell the character of a country by its national car. In England it is the regal odor of leather and wood, recollecting the old estate mansion. In Germany it is hard steel and perfectly crafted machinery. In France it is an idiosyncratic luxury of a sort which never quite made sense to anyone else. In Japan it is uninspired, boring efficiency. And in America it is the Texas ideal, size and power, coupled with an unsophisticated ideal of luxury.
I. Mee

What makes a nation in the beginning is a good piece of geography.
Robert Frost

How did Italy manage to end up with no Caribbean islands at all? Christopher Columbus took the trouble to discover the Caribbean personally before the end of the fifteenth century. Try to get a decent plate of spaghetti there now.
Calvin Trillin

I do not see the E.E.C. [European Economic Community] as a great love affair. It's more like nine middle aged couples with failing marriages meeting at a Brussels hotel for a group grope.
Kenneth Tynan

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it Vinchy; foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.
Mark Twain

The only interesting thing that can happen in a Swiss bedroom is suffocation by feather matress.
Dalton Trumbo

I am writing this from what we Americans call Yurrp. In Yurrp writers are taken as seriously as Lana Turner's legs are in America -- a ridiculous situation.
John Steinbeck

How do you expect the Germans to revolt when they don't even dare walk on the grass?
Josef Stalin

Hell is a place where the motorists are French, the policemen are German and the cooks are English.
Laurence J. Peter

Italy hasn't had a government since Mussolini.
Richard Nixon

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