Wednesday, January 4

Lessons in Flânerie: The Fine Art of People-Watching in Paris


"Whether spending time with good friends or enjoying a solitary meal, much of Parisian life takes place in the capital’s ubiquitous cafés. Photo: Peter Turnley"
"'Une place, madame?' Seated on one of the mismatched chairs at the café La Bourse ou La Vie ('the money or your life'), his yellow suspenders holding in a roll of flesh, my interrogator peers at me through round-rimmed spectacles, waves me past, and turns back toward his companions. He is telling a story, ostensibly to them, but from the bombastic way his voice echoes off the yellow ceiling, he clearly wants me to hear it too. It’s a folk tale, drawn from the works of the 17th-century fabulist Jean de La Fontaine, of a heron that refuses to eat anything but the finest food. The man spreads his arms in imitation of the bird—nearly knocking one hapless diner off his feet—and begins to chirp wildly. Then he stops. He has spotted someone he knows, driving down Rue Vivienne. On this balmy June afternoon, the café doors are wide open; nothing separates us from the pavement and street outside. ..."
National Geographic Society
Revolutionary Walking, or The Art of the Flânerie
amazon: Walks Through Lost Paris: A Journey Into the Heart of Historic Paris

2013 October: Flâneur

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