[URBAN NOTE] “Reflections on the art of flânerie”
Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on his experience of being a flâneur, and the problems of said.
Introduced to the concept by a friend, there was a time when I was a most dedicated flaneur. Then I drifted away a little, although I introduced a remarkable number of people to the concept.
I think one of the reasons for my decline in flaneuring is that I started walking for exercise. This may be healthy, but it tends to defeats the point, the discoveries that can come from random idling.
I find that when walking for exercise I have in mind distance and time, two things in direct conflict with the art of flânerie. What’s worse, I tend to get very bored and thus stop walking! Even the desire to achieve a minimum number of paces (10,000 per day appears to have become an almost universal target) provides insufficient incentive.
The irony, of course, is that I actually walked more as a flaneur than as an exerciser because I was simply more interested, was inclined to keep moving.