Flânerie is a term derived from the French verb flâner which means "to stroll". Flânerie was first popularized by Charles Baudelaire for referring to "a person who walks the city in order to experience it". Although flâneur or flâneuse (feminine) is sometimes employed pejoratively to designate an aimless saunterer, we share Baudelaire's respect and aspiration for the art of flânerie: "For the perfect flâneur, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow. To be away from home, yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the center of the world, yet to remain hidden from the world —- such are a few of the slightest pleasures of those independent, passionate, impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define."

Ansel Adams and Edward Burtynsky

Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, Calif., 1944.
Photograph by Ansel Adams (Credit: Shelburne Museum)

The Shelburne Museum goes modern! Again. No, not more motorcycles... The museum's fist modern and contemporary photography exhibition, Ansel Adams and Edward Burtynsky: Constructed Landscapes, opened on June 19 and runs until October 24.

Trespassing flâneuse

Obviously, Trespassing depicts the filmmaker walks various cities in the world and encourages audiences to link the video with the practice of female flânerie, a term from the French masculine word flâneur. Baudelaire’s flâneur depicts a man who walks the city to experience, observe, understand, and portray city life through both of his participation and detached observation.

Urban Maze

I often describe cities as being like a gigantic maze. However, unlike when I’m in a maze, I love being ‘lost’ in a city, wander about and notice. Albeit, I am not a proper flaneur; I want to do more than just look and wander, I want to create!

An Ann Arborite in Paris

I often take to wandering the city [Paris] toute-seule and although I do tend to find some really neat things, or things that I really didn't expect to come across (especially in the 16th) I still think that this a city of meeting up with people, of being headed to somewhere where a group awaits you.

Paris Flânerie

It has been a wonderful Sunday, profitably spent achieving nothing in particular. I set off across the river with the vague image of lunch somewhere in the Marais...

Read the full post at RichardCotman.com

The Invention of Paris

The Invention of Paris
Eric Hazan's The Invention of Paris

Friday Flaneur: Munching music

An earnest folk-singer, in cavernous Martin Place, competes with a “burger with-the-lot”, for the attention of lunch time strollers. Better were she a plate juggling sword swallower, than guitar player.

Flaneur (n). A person who strolls the city in order to appreciate it.
Are YOU a flaneur - a la Baudelaire or Sontag?

Staring Flâneur

"A little-known fact is that people wearing sunglasses never notice when you stare at them. Or, rather, you can’t see them noticing you, which amounts to the same thing: immunity to stare." (Georgia Love)

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