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."

Michael Sorkin proves there's a raconteur in every flâneur

"In Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, Michael Sorkin, an architect and critic, makes like Jacobs and immerses himself in the rhythms and patter of the street. He has shaped his book according to the contours of his daily stroll across a dozen or so blocks of Lower Manhattan, from the top floor of his five-story Greenwich Village walk-up to his office in TriBeCa. Walking, Sorkin writes, is 'a natural armature for thinking sequentially,' providing opportunities for heady musings on all manner of city life. Yet his peripatetic narrative is anything but linear.

The Flâneur & The City: Historic Core

Urban historian Richard Schave's site-specific discussion series "The Flâneur & The City" is an ongoing attempt to explore some of the more important issues revealed by the constantly changing heart of the metropolis.

Cycling with the vélo-flâneur

Photograph via

Roll Over, Thor Heyerdahl, Here Comes the Plastiki

Autoportrait à République

Autoportrait à République (Photograph via flickr.com

Urban Flaneur Guidebook

An urban flaneur is a wanderer who travels around the city as a casual observer and gives an interpretation of what s/he sees. An urban flaneur disdains the idea that one can encapsulate a city into a list of landmarks or dissect it into parts as one would a corpse. In this light, I am launching this new blog about experiencing the city in its totality. I welcome any relevant comments.

Seattle : Fête du Flâneur

Fête du Flâneur, An Urban(e) Party via Great City

Naked Southwest

It was inevitable. Like falling in love again. Like sunrise after a long, dream-filled night. Like the sort of deep satisfaction discovered in a bowl of green chile stew after four years of Brie and foi gras! It was inevitable that my return to the Southwest after four years in Paris would rejuvenate me, no, would plunge me headlong into the thrill and dazzle of naked living…

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