My recent conference and leisure trip to Greece (Athens conference) and France (Paris conference) reignited my belief in urban life and city living. What is more gratifying to an urban scholar than seeing subway trains packed with passengers, pedestrian streets heavily used by walkers and street front cafes and brasseries full of happy people. I realize that elsewhere in the world, the Jane Jacobs description of dense and socially interactive urban living is still very much a reality. The crowds gathered around traveling musicians on plazas and at metro entrances are more impressive to me than the grand historical buildings behind them! At the same time, the mobility and diversity of the urban populations are universal.