Interviewer: "Where did you get your ideas from?"
Duke Ellington: "Ideas? Oh, man, I got a million dreams. That's all I do—I dream. All the time."
Interviewer: "I thought you played piano."
Duke Ellington: "Nooo. This is not piano; this is dreaming."
“Jazz music is existence music. It doesn’t take you out of the world. It puts you in the world. It makes you deal with it. It’s not the kind of…religiosity of 'Thou must.' It’s not. It’s 'This is.' And that’s it. 'This is.' It deals with the present. … Somebody was laying out in the street. It might have been the cat who was playing. It might have been Charlie Parker. But that fact doesn’t alter the power…of what he’s saying. ‘Yes, I did that, but I also do this.’ [That is] the range of humanity that is in this music.” —Wynton Marsalis in Jazz
"He once said, 'The artist's life is the best in the world if you can get through the first 40 years.'" —Mildred Small, speaking of her brother, Thomas Hart Benton, in Ken Burns' America: Thomas Hart Benton
“Sitting by yourself, forcing the swirl of thoughts into a linear, systematic journey forward—it makes you smarter. It’s like a pastry bag, literacy is. It presses you into one clear line.” —Margaret Edson, schoolteacher and Pulitzer Prize winner (for her play, Wit), in The New York Times
New York magazine: What makes someone a New Yorker?
Oliver Sacks: The inability to leave New York.
"Do stuff. be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. stay eager." —Susan Sontag
"In your head, picture yourself landing it." —skateboarders at the Hudson River