Herb Caen

(Herbert Eugene "Herb" Caen)

Herb Caen
Herb Caen
  • Born: April 3, 1916
  • Died: February 1, 1997
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Columnist









Quote Topics Cited
A city is a crazy concrete jungle whose people at the end of each day somehow make a small step ahead against terrible odds.
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.
A city is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams.
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.
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. Business, Commerce & Finance
A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew. Time
Americans are pragmatic, relatively uncomplicated, hearty and given to broad humor. Humor
Cockroaches and socialites are the only things that can stay up all night and eat anything. Society
I have a memory like an elephant. I remember every elephant I've ever met. Humor
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.' Hope
I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there. Life
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.
Logic is no answer to passion.
New Yorkers are stuck in a gloomy mucilage of mutual commiseration.
Old San Francisco - the one so many nostalgics yearn for - had buildings that related well to each other.
Philosophically, I don't like doing commercials.
San Franciscans have a bond of self-satisfaction bordering on smugness.
Satire of satire tends to be self-canceling, and deliberate shock tactics soon lose their ability to shock, especially when they're too deliberate.
The only thing wrong with immortality is that it tends to go on forever. Time
The only way to fight a thing like 50 is to stay au courant if it kills you.
The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around. Time
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.
When a place advertises itself as 'World Famous,' you may be sure it isn't. Fame