..but soon enough he started to realize what his fundamental objection really was.
The whole point of the city was to fortify itself against nature.
But Manhattan failed to do that: an “open” city with a limitless sky above, it let nature in on every side. It was, of course, an island, and thus too exposed to the elements: to storm, hurricane, snow, heat, wind, floods.
It had no real protection against anything. “I feel as though I were camping in the heart of a jungle crawling with insects.”
Therefore he learned to appreciate it only while crossing it in a car, as if he were “driving across the great plains of Andalusia.”