All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking. Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is no English equivalent for the French word flâneur. Cassell’s dictionary defines flâneur as a stroller, saunterer, drifter but none of these terms seems quite accurate. There is no English equivalent for the term, just as there is no Anglo-Saxon counterpart of that essentially Gallic individual, the deliberately aimless pedestrian, unencumbered by any obligation or sense of urgency, who, being French and therefore frugal, wastes nothing, including his time which he spends with the leisurely discrimination of a gourmet, savoring the multiple flavors of his city.” (Cornelia Otis Skinner, Elegant Wits and Grand Horizontals, 1962, Houghton Mifflin, New York)

Those who attended our most recent bookclub were privy to our latest scheme – becoming flâneurs. But in order to make our walk good, we need your input! For our May meeting, we are planning a stroll through the midtown area and we want each participant interested to contribute a spot to visit and a willingness to explain their love for that particular building, tree, mailbox – whatever. We’re limiting ourselves to the region between E and T, 10th to 28th. If you would like to add your spot to our route, please email me directly ( by May 4th for inclusion. We’ll also be reading The Geography of Bliss that month – some killer travel writing about the “happiest places” on earth.

Stay tuned for more details about our “read trash, don’t leave it” plan for summer as well. Thanks for supporting alt+library!


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