“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 Sontag, On Photography
“I love walking in London,” said Mrs. Dalloway. —Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
As the images of flâneurs on this page and the language about them suggest, the flâneur is male, well dressed, a man with money who can while the hours wandering the streets. He is by himself; he may eat his lunch alone.
Does that mean a woman—une flâneuse—does not, can not, exist? Do women go for a good walk alone? Do they have sufficient income to permit the time to wander? Don’t they stay at home and watch after the kids?
Cleaning up and preparing to leave for the evening.
Through a window brightly like diamond.
Lauren Elkin, the cultural critic, has written a book Flaneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice and London that was recently designated by the New York Times as a Notable Book for 2017. For her the flâneuse is a “determined, resourceful individual keenly attuned to the creative potential of the city and the liberating possibilities of a good walk.” (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)
She does not recognize gender as a defining characteristic of a flâneur. It is an “individual” who takes a good walk. The dictionary defines a “flâneuse” as “a woman who is or who behaves like a flaneur.”
Santa Fe Taqueria on NW 23rd Portland at 16:30, Tuesday.
Hanging around Tuesday, 16:00 on NW 23rd Portland.
But wait, there’s more!
Going away from home for a long time makes the homecoming sweet if the home is worth coming home to.
I relish the return. I was away from home for three months, I was missing my kitchen and the gadgets there and the meals I like to make, I was thinking of my favorite places to eat in Portland that I had not visited for some months, I was looking forward to conversations with family and friends in words heard and spoken and not written. The return is always sweet.
I must relearn how to live in the apartment. I must stop myself from speaking French to a server or a bus driver. I need to go shopping for food and resupply the pantry and that is always fun. The yoga classes must start and I must begin again the routine at the gym.
And, too, I want to wander the streets of Portland and remember. I was out and about the other day in the late November afternoon, capturing random moments that happened to draw my attention.
Portland, a foodie town, boasts hundreds of food carts. SW 9th and Alder might be considered the hub, the granddaddy of locations. Around one city block and extending along another it is the largest of the food cart pods. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!
The other day I rode the Portland Aerial Tram. Even though it has been a feature of the city skyline since January 29, 2008, it was the first time I had taken the ride to the Oregon Health & Science University in the hills above Portland.
According to the publicity for the Tram, the cabins “travel 3,300 linear feet from South Waterfront to Marquam Hill. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the Tram cabins rise 500 feet during the four-minute trip. Each of the two cabins have a capacity of 79 people, including the operator. The Tram operates load-n-go. If you miss one, expect another in just a few minutes.”
I started at the bottom at the Willamette River where all the machinery was built to take me up and up away. For hikers it is a part of the 4T trail, which I was doing that day. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.) But wait, there’s more!
Lately, I have posted a number of pictures of the mountains that dominate north central Oregon. I have often mentioned the Three Sisters in the Three Sisters Wilderness area.
Several times I have hiked around them, or I have hiked into the lakes that rest at their bases, such as the Green Lakes and Sisters Mirror Lake.
What has not been mentioned is the hike (climb) to the top of South Sister. To climb North Sister is difficult and requires mountain climbing experience. Middle Sister is less difficult but requires careful planning. South Sister is a hike rather than a climb; one hikes a trail to the top.
I have hiked to the summit of South Sisters on two different occasions. The second time, I spent the night, enduring winds and freezing temperatures.
South Sister is the third highest peak in Oregon at 10358 ft (3157 m), but it requires little climbing experience. It is rated at worst a class 3. No gear is needed except for good shoes and lots of determination.
Here we have the view from the summit of South Sister looking toward Mount Bachelor. On the ridge to the right of the small lake is the trail to the top. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.) But wait, there’s more!