In a famous diagram, the visionary planner Ebenezer Howard used a visual metaphor of three magnets to describe the various attractions of the town, the countryside, and his own hybrid "Garden City." For me, the city has always been the strongest magnet. Born in suburban Ontario, I have constantly been drawn toward cities; first Hamilton, then Toronto, and then New York. The city - its buildings, its people, and its culture - has long been a fixture in my imagination. Since completing my PhD at the New School for Social Research, the city has become the subject of my scholarly pursuits. Whether it be the study of literary and architectural ideal cities (which are the subject of my dissertation) or other urban issues related to urban development, gentrification, housing, sustainability, or social movements, my research and teaching have centered on questions related to the urban experience. As the global urban population continues to grow, the challenges facing cities will become some of the most important of our time. Through my work as a scholar and educator, I hope to play a role in overcoming these challenges.