The paper charts a personal research journey that begins with the specification of the interlocking network model for cities and concludes with interpretation of cities as truly extraordinary. Three products of this model are discussed. First, this very specific model has generated a mini-literature on cities in globalisation and this is briefly outlined. Second, the model has been interpreted as a generic description of inter-city relations - central flow theory - and this is illustrated using historical examples. Third, there is a discussion of criticisms of the model and the relevance of green networks of extraordinary cities for thinking about the future of humanity.