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Herb Caen's Quotes

Herb Caen profile photo

Born: 1916-04-03
Profession: Journalist
Nation: American
Biography of Herb Caen

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A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.

Tags: Off, Time, Wisdom

The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever.

Tags: Forever, Wrong

Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything.

Tags: Night, Society, Stay

A city is a crazy concrete jungle whose people at the end of each day somehow make a small step ahead against terrible odds.

Tags: Crazy, End, Small

A city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams.

Tags: City, Dreams, Vision

Americans are pragmatic, relatively uncomplicated, hearty and given to broad humor.

Tags: Hearty, Humor, Pragmatic

I have a memory like an elephant. I remember every elephant I've ever met.

Tags: Elephant, Memory, Remember

I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there.

Tags: Life, Past, Tend

Logic is no answer to passion.

Tags: Answer, Logic, Passion

New Yorkers are stuck in a gloomy mucilage of mutual commiseration.

Tags: Gloomy, Mutual, Stuck

Old San Francisco - the one so many nostalgics yearn for - had buildings that related well to each other.

Tags: Buildings, Old, Related

Philosophically, I don't like doing commercials.

Tags: Bond, San

Satire of satire tends to be self-canceling, and deliberate shock tactics soon lose their ability to shock, especially when they're too deliberate.

Tags: Ability, Lose, Soon

The only way to fight a thing like 50 is to stay au courant if it kills you.

Tags: Fight, Stay

The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around.

Tags: Pain, Time, Trouble

When a place advertises itself as 'World Famous,' you may be sure it isn't.

Tags: Famous, May, Place

A city is a state - of mind, of taste, of opportunity. A city is a marketplace - where ideas are traded, opinions clash and eternal conflict may produce eternal truths.

Tags: May, Mind, State

A city is where you can sign a petition, boo the chief justice, fish off a pier, gaze at a hippopotamus, buy a flower at the corner, or get a good hamburger or a bad girl at 4 A.M. A city is where sirens make white streaks of sound in the sky and foghorns speak in dark grays. San Francisco is such a city.

Tags: Bad, Girl, Good

A good column is one that sells paper. It doesn't matter how beautifully it is written and how much you admire the author... if it doesn't sell any papers, it's not a good column. It's a terrible yardstick to use, but in the newspaper business, that's the whole thing.

Tags: Business, Good, Whole

I hope I go to Heaven, and when I do, I'm going to do what every San Franciscan does when he gets there. He looks around and says, 'It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco.'

Tags: Bad, Heaven, Hope

Just two days in Manhattan and you find yourself looking for a place to wash your handkerchief after you wipe your forehead and it comes away black. Is there a dirtier or more fascinating city anywhere in the land? The answer to both parts of the question has to be positively negative.

Tags: After, Black, Yourself

The world of Manhattan is small and tightly knit, and the man on top retains a certain humility. He knows how far and fast he can fall by looking at the guy across the street. The view from the $250,000 apartment covers a lot of ground, most of it condemned.

Tags: Far, Humility, Small
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