“That is how easily recognizable landmarks—Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, and so on—acquire their bigger-than-life significance. These privileged parts of the city stand in for the whole in a substitution that makes the process of idealization possible. New York “is” Chrysler Building, and it “was” the Twin Towers. The magical feeling of being there is, in part, due to the enchantment of these parts that miraculously condense the whole, while hiding from sight the city’s messier facets. One knows that one is in New York so long as one catches glimpse of the imposing rooftops of Empire State and Chrysler Buildings. The rest does not matter.”
read the whole article by Michael Marder: For the Love of a City by Michael Marder – Project Syndicate.