I wasn’t fully ready for it, but it’s here. We’ve reached the end of the summer. While I spend most of it cursing the humidity and heat, mostly waiting on the subway or fixing an ac on the fritz, you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. In the heat, there are a series of respites offered as I walk the city – most are like the coffee shop I frequent and the very slow pace/mood that takes the edge off once you walk through its front door.
This slower pace is especially necessary in New York where it’s all too easy to get caught up in the “overwhelming feeling of being in a perpetual state of missed opportunities.” The ability to walk in this city, and the places along my route, give me time and the chance to breathe…no meetings, just the time to walk and think. No task lists or thoughts of productivity, just the ability to do nothing…to clear my head. It’s sometimes thrilling to forget all deadlines, descend into the subway and reemerge in a “new world,” ambling around town without a practical goal in mind beyond simple exploration.
Meandering, exploring, ideas of Charles Baudelair…
To continue with the meme of flaneur, I’m off to Paris this evening. The birthplace of the city as living landscape. It seems everyone has a very strong opinion of Paris – what to visit, what to bring back, what it might mean to them. I’m looking forward to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a impromptu picnic along the Seine, and the view from Sacré-Cœur, but my main desire is just to allow myself to become absorbed and lost in its landscape.
I’m very excited, but I’m going into it without expectations – so much so that I’m not even expecting to come back.