Flânerie is a French word. Translated into English it means:
To stroll, to ramble, to wander aimlessly.
A person who is often found out and about taking long, meandering walks is known as a flâneur.
This word comes to mind this week because it is finally a little warm out. Yes, the wind is blowing and yes, it does behoove you to bring a scarf (and maybe your hat and gloves) but it is slowly but surely becoming walking weather. Walking is one of the very best things about New York. You can walk the whole city and continue to br surprised and inspired by the people, parks, shops, cafe and stores you discover. As the weather heats up, I'll spend my weekends strolling Manhattan, I'll skip cabs and Ubers and subways in favor of walking across the Williamsburg bridge back to my house. I'll get in bed spent from hours of talking and wandering and sipping coffee. I'll feel far less guilty about all the pastry that accompanied my coffee and I'll get that special feeling you get when you've really worked your body and felt it serve you. Wandering aimlessly through New York City is where everything happens in the Spring, Summer and Fall. I have debated and discussed while getting lost on the Lower East Side. I have wondered and dreamed strolling down cobble-stoned streets in the West Village. I have cried and been consoled strolling through Central Park. I have fought and laughed and yelled on the wide sidewalks of to the Upper West Side.
I am so looking forward to the walks and conversations and thoughts that will come from my Flâneries this Spring as the sun heats up the city and the restaurants spill out into the streets and New York becomes alive with people again.
P.S For more thoughts on the beauty of walking pick up a copy of Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit.