Especially relevant since much of my recent discourse has revolved around a 'reading' of the city. Hat tip to Richard. This will have to be the best paragraph I read today. I know it's only 7 am but I had an early start.
Great cities attract ambitious people. You can sense it when you walk around one. In a hundred subtle ways, the city sends you a message: you could do more; you should try harder ... A city speaks to you mostly by accident—in things you see through windows, in conversations you overhear. It's not something you have to seek out, but something you can't turn off.
A most fascinating piece by Paul Graham. Read more here.