If you live in an old city, you will be conscious not only of the many other lives led alongside your own but also of the past and future lives crowding in. Far from diluting the effect of your own experience, this crowded history will strengthen each present event: the cracked sidewalks and porous building materials will store up your life and give it forth to you in a way that the smooth walls of a New Town or a planned city never could.

Wendy Lesser, The Amateur