spiralsheep: Reality is a dangerous concept (babel Blake Reality Dangerous Concept)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
There seem to be an increasing number of fictional women flaneurs who might, or might not be of interest to [community profile] flaneurs.

The most recent I've encountered was in the novel Lilian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney, 2017, in which the elderly* New Yorker Ms Boxfish is a fictionalised version of real life 1930s advertising woman Margaret Fishback. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk on goodreads (currently 3.86/5) and also my review with quotes (3/5).

Any other urban walking books of note?

* "elderly" = a compliment in cultures which respect older people.
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
I saw and can recommend the film Paterson, by Jim Jarmusch, which is a loving tribute to the art in everyday city life as found through walking, public transport, sitting and being with the city and its inhabitants (and also through home decor, popular music, and baking), and is highly relevant to flaneurs' interests.

Rotten Tomatoes is currently rating it at critics 95% positive and audience 78% liked:

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/paterson/
[personal profile] meretia
I moved down to Bloomington, about an hour south of Indianapolis, last summer. Indy's a neat city, but I keep finding myself going over to Columbus, about forty minutes east of here, when I want to walk around and look at a town.

I'm from Louisville in Kentucky originally (about an hour from Columbus), and I remember going to my best friend's grandparents' lake house in Columbus with his family a few times when I was six or seven. All I really remember about it was it being on a lake. But Columbus is actually apparently quite well known for its architecture.

The Cummins diesel engine company is based out of Columbus, and the story I've heard is that either its current owner or the one before it was a huge architecture enthusiast. So when the city needed to build some new schools and civic buildings, he said to them, "choose your architect from this list of ten architects I like, and I'll pay the architect's fees for you." So now Columbus, this town of maybe thirty thousand people in the middle of nowhere, is full of this fantastic 1950s/1960s Modernist architecture. And then I guess the people building things later decided to just go with it, because the city is full of sculpture just because and really unusual buildings that seem like they're being odd to fit in. I've gone down and looked at all the churches (there are three or four churches that are super Modern too) and civic buildings, but this is from when I went and just sort of wandered around downtown for a couple hours.
Read more... )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
Indeed, I ended up doing the third June Challenge in September, just as I did the second in July and the first in August.

From the options for Theme III, I ruled out the first two (lately I drive to work, plus if I used the public transit route I used to use, the results wouldn't be very interesting; finally, it was a weekend, so I didn't want to end up at work) and chose option D randomly. Starting from my apartment in downtown San José, I picked an hour for my duration, and went:

left on South 2nd St. to begin, passing by familiar scenery (the only urban density on the route)

right onto Paseo de San Antonio, a pedestrian corridor going past the Camera 12 movie theater among other things (hmm, "Red Hook Summer", I should see that)

left onto South 1st, right onto West San Carlos, left onto Market: this gets closer to the convention center area, with hotels and stuff, but also lots of empty storefronts with "For Lease" signs

right onto Balbach and left onto Almaden Ave., entering a residential area (the rest of the walk continued to be residential), after which I crossed under the 280 freeway (I had thought that starting this challenge from my apartment would be tricky since I live in a neighborhood that's completely encircled by four different freeways, but fortunately there are enough underpasses).

right onto Grant, passing a bakery that smelled really nice (but seemed to be closed), left onto Almaden Blvd. (not to be confused with Almaden Ave.), which became Vine; I passed by an apparent salsa dance class going on in someone's front yard, to the tune of a Spanish cover of "My Heart Will Go On"

right onto Oak, where I found a store to buy a new flavor of paleta (changunga), left onto Locust, right onto Willow, which had a brief spattering of businesses, including several yummy-smelling taquerias, left onto Palm, right onto Humboldt, left onto Lick. From here I could see Tamien Station, the next station south of Diridon, where I get off to go home if I'm taking public transit from work or San Francisco. Only a few trains actually stop there, so I'd never been before.

Right onto Alma, where I was convinced I saw a bear in the parking lot of a new-looking high-rise development, but it was actually a woman in a brown dress. My hour ran out just before I would have crossed under the 87 freeway and train tracks. Walked back to Tamien to catch the light rail to go home (only 11 minutes, as compared to an hour walk; for once, the light rail is good for something).

Also there are pictures.
tim: 2x2 grid of four stylized icons: a bus, a light rail train, a car, and a bicycle (travel)
[personal profile] tim
I did theme I for the June challenge in July, and now I've just done theme II in August. I assume I'll be doing theme II in September.

Theme II(c), which I selected randomly from the four variations on Theme II, says "Visit your local council's website and find their walks page (example: Walks in Hillingdon). If they don't have one, choose a neighbouring local council and try again." I had to alter this a bit since I live in America where we don't have such quaint notions as city councils that put together walks guides. I wanted to do a walk in Mountain View, where I work, so I could go back to the office afterward and also because the first hit for "walks in San José" (where I live) was a dog walking service, so that's not very promising. The city of Mountain View itself does have a page of walks, but it was really just a list of multi-use trails and I wasn't that interested in walking on a bike trail. Then I found a list of walks on the Mountain View Trees web site. Bonanza! As per instructions, I picked the first walk, the Bush Street Tree Walk [PDF].

This was a very short walk, but came with a detailed description [link to a Word document for some ungodly reason] of 21 trees along the route. I'm not gonna lie: I may not agree with anything about Ronald Reagan's politics, but "once you've seen one tree, you've seen them all" does ring true for me on a personal level. And this walk didn't really change that, with two exceptions: the two giant Coastal Redwood trees (those were pretty awe-inspiring, and I didn't realize they were just two blocks off from a street I regularly walk or bike on to get to work) and the avocado tree. Food >> trees, and I hadn't seen avocadoes outside a supermarket in a while.

Pictures to come once my camera is charged enough to upload them. This was far from the most exciting walk ever, but only needing to walk about 10 minutes from work to get to the starting point was a big factor in me actually finishing this theme :-)

ETA: For those who *don't* think that once you've seen one tree, you've seen them all, pictures of the first couple of trees. After that, my battery ran out. (Also, today I learned that I don't like Shutterfly; however, I used up all my bandwidth on Flickr.)
tim: 2x2 grid of four stylized icons: a bus, a light rail train, a car, and a bicycle (public transportation)
[personal profile] tim
I was busy in June, so I decided to do the June challenges in July. I don't expect credit or anything :-)

Theme I, option A says:

"Get on the first bus that comes along (and that you're able to get onto).
While travelling on the bus, look out of the window until you see something interesting.
Get off at the next stop, go back, and thoroughly investigate the interesting thing"

I started from home, in downtown San José, California. I live right on a transit mall street, so I literally walk out the door and see a bus stop with six or seven different bus lines. VTA buses are terrible, but even on a Saturday afternoon, where I live is enough like a transit hub that there are buses every few minutes. I only had to wait a minute or two before the 23 bus (destination: De Anza College, in Cupertino) arrived...
Read more... )
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
For the June Challenge: IId, Beer Glass Walk. We went through our Big Box o' Portland Maps looking for something that had a scale that we could live with; all but one of them were Too Magnified or Not Magnified Enough. The one whose scale we could live with was a bike map of Outer SE Portland. Then we plunked our glass.

Map: the glass and the resultant walk.

Portland has a reputation for being a very walkable city, but just how walkable it is depends on the neighborhood. East Portland is not one of the more walkable areas, unfortunately. It was annexed by the city fairly recently, and has never gotten much love nor money from the civic planners. There's an interstate bypass plunked right through the middle of it, and it trends toward being car-centric. We'd had kind of a bad feeling about using an Outer SE map for our beer glass, but had decided to go ahead anyway: we really don't know East Portland all that well, and maybe there would be some pleasant surprises.

There were indeed pleasant surprises. And an awful lot of car-centric East Portland-ness, too.

walk and photos )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
So the very same evening that I did my aforementioned walk, I decided to try another challenge, since the walk was kind of lackluster. Having already done one from each category, I picked a theme at random to repeat, and chose Theme I (buses). Generating another random number, I picked challenge (d), where you pick a number n between 3 and 20, figure out what the nth stop is on a bus line running from the closest stop to your home or workplace (I was at work, so I picked work), and navigate there using any method other than buses.

My random number was 12, and the closest bus stop was the westbound 22 bus stop at El Camino Real and Castro in Mountain View, CA. The 12th stop going west was at El Camino Real and Curtner in Palo Alto, near the California Ave. Caltrain station. I had the options of biking there, walking, or taking the train; generating another random number, I ended up walking. The 22 bus in this area runs down just one major thoroughfare, El Camino Real, so my walk was just down the one street.

The walk took about an hour and a half, and I left at 8 PM, so more of it was in the dark than I would have liked. It made for an interesting contrast with my suburban residential walk earlier, because El Camino Real is boring in a different way: scaled for cars, not people; businesses oriented towards keeping your car going (lube shops and gas stations) and keeping you alive and awake long enough to drive your car somewhere else (motels and fast food). That's El Camino Real. The Mountain View part is junkier and more oriented towards selling you cheap stuff you don't need; when you get to Palo Alto, it's more about motels and one contemplates a time before interstate freeways when you would take a lengthy road trip that was just down 40-miles-an-hour roads through suburban areas.

When I got to the bus stop, the terrain was just starting to look like someplace people lived instead of a strip-mall/motel wasteland. Not counting waiting, the bus ride back to El Camino Real and Castro took 15 minutes.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
This is a walk I did a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't get around to doing the writeup. For Theme III, I chose option (d): "First, choose the duration of your adventure; anything from five minutes to five hours. Start at your home or workplace. Take the first left, then the second right, then the first left, then the second right, etc, etc."

I started from the Mountain View public library at Franklin and Mercy in downtown Mountain View, California (two blocks from my workplace), and decided to walk for an hour, extending it for another hour if I was having fun.

I didn't extend it. )
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I spent a couple of days in Chicago after Wiscon, which would have been a lot more pleasant and productive of urban strolls and photos if had I not come down with the Cold From Hell which afflicted just about everybody I know following Wiscon.

I did manage a rather slow and unambitious stroll around on one day:

I was staying near the Water Tower, which I love for its sweet incongruity amongst all the soaring hyper-modern skyscrapers.
The Water Tower and Pumping Station )


Then I walked up the Magnificent Mile of Michigan Ave, where I thought the raised planters were not quite so amazing as last time I was there.
Planters on the Magnificent Mile )


I had one specific errand to fulfill on my travels: going to Union Station to ascertain whether the machines would print out my train tickets if I waved a bar code at them. This turned out to be true! No problem!

From the station I walked along by the river (I'd planned on doing one of the architecture from the water boat trips but wasn't feeling up to organising or doing this):
River and bridges )


I then walked down to 200 W. Madison to gaze upon Louise Nevelson's Dawn Shadows, with which I spent some quality time, but didn't take photos as it is in the atrium of a business building and I'm not sure how they would feel about photos.

And then managed to negotiate my way back to my hotel by public transport, which at one point involved exiting the elevated railway, going round the corner, and descending into the subway.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

It seems to have become a tradition with me that, on the afternoon after the final Wiscon sessions, I take a stroll up past the Capitol, down to Lake Monoma, along the lakeside and back to the hotel. (Some years this gets extended, it all depends on the weather and my general state of energy.)

Anyway, this year I remembered to take my camera along with me.

Past the Capitol )


And thence to the Monoma Terrace on the lake edge:

Views of the lake from the Monoma Terrace )


Then I walked along by the side of the lake. The water was quite choppy: although the weather had got much warmer than when I arrived in Madison a few days before, down by the lake it was really breezy.

Views along the lakeside )

tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
For theme II (lines), I picked (a), where you choose a railway terminus and walk along the line that terminates there, or as close to it as possible. Since I started my walk at 8:30 PM, I went for the minimum of one hour.
It didn't go all that well )
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim

Yesterday I did the first theme in the June challenge: buses. I picked the first option, where you get on the bus closest to your home or work, and stay on until you see something interesting.

(+26) Ten years ago, Stevie O said, 'Look me up if you're ever anywhere near Santa Clara' )

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