This issue’s cover needed a city on it, but it also needed people; after all, what’s there to say about a city, except to speak of the people who comprise it, who have moved into or away from it, who may be floundering or thriving within it?

A number of people walked past my desk as I worked on the cover, saw this image (London Calling by Gail Brodholt), and exclaimed, “Oh, I’ve been there!” or “That looks familiar.” The fact is that although most likely they have not been at this particular London station, the sight is a familiar one. We’re always coming or going, among the cities of this world. I think of the moment in my favorite story The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, as the little prince watches one brilliantly-lit express train after another rumble by, going and returning, puzzled at all these people who are never satisfied with where they are.

The city we’re really searching for won’t be found at the end of the train line. But our cities, filled as they are with every kind of heartbreak, hardship, wonder and goodness, are as good a place as any to keep laying the bricks of the Eternal City.