Flâneur is a French noun meaning “stroller”, “lounger”, “saunterer” or “loafer” – Wikipedia

A new book, “The Art of Wandering the Streets of Paris” by Federico Castigliano trails my own Paris wanderings in the 1980’s as a student at The Eurocentre de Paris. The courses focused on the French language, and we spoke and read as much as we could every day. We dealt with daily newspapers, music, expeditions, haircuts, cinemas, theatres, city bus routes, searching for antique photographs, visiting museums, Metro transit, exchanging ideas, spelling en français etc. Most important for me was exploring the City of Paris, and the book is perfect. Federico Castigliano followed the same routes I followed in person almost every day. Indeed I became a Flâneur myself and best of all I got to live in the Hotel Parisiana for three months, near the Gare de l’Est with hot water running (rare for many students) and the Eurocentre was within walking distance, not far from Pont Neuf. A few months later I returned to Paris and was living with a friend of a friend in a small room. Not quite the same but a fine neighbourhood – Montparnasse – and I exchanged ideas with the German lady who rented the room and gave me some instructions on what to see in the city. She handed me a detailed city bus book. Some of those routes revealed Paris’ outstanding features without any cost. <Below – the cover of ‘Flaneur’, which I can tell you now is well-worth reading.  I read it every day until it was finished.  You only have to find it.>

One thought on “Flâneur is a French noun meaning “stroller”, “lounger”, “saunterer” or “loafer” – Wikipedia

  1. I think I like ‘loafer’ best. Strolling the boulevards and alleys, cafe sitting while the world passes you by. I once had to wait for a friend who had a brief meeting. I said I’d walk around the block in the interval. Unknown to me, penetrating the rectangular block, was a cul-de-sac which I dutifully followed up one side and down the other. Took ages to return to where I’s started.

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