I blogged for years in the first half of this decade, and it’s high time I did so again. But this time, I’m doing it more or less anonymously. Anyone determined to find my identity can do so very easily through Last.fm or Flickr (and my name appears below most of my photographs). Even so, if you know me, please refrain from using my real name when making a comment.

The photographer is an armed version of the solitary walker reconnoitering, stalking, cruising the urban inferno, the voyeuristic stroller who discovers the city as a landscape of voluptuous extremes. Adept of the joys of watching, connoisseur of empathy, the flâneur finds the world ‘picturesque.’
– Susan Sonntag

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

Can you be a flâneur if you live in Bury (Greater Manchester)? Granted, the place can hardly be compared with Paris, but why ever not?

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