FRENCH FRIDAY #31: Flâneur

All the World's a Stage
La Tasse de Café | French Vocabulary by Mademoiselle Love
girls drinking coffee, cafe, coffee, talking, Flaneur, coffee talk, la tasse de cafe


Definition: one who strolls around or lounges, an urban spectator

I don't know about you, but post-Thanksgiving, I've found it a little hard to find motivation to do much of anything. I'm not sure if it was all the turkey, the fact that winter break is around the corner, or maybe a little bit of both. But my lazy attitude reminds me of a great French word...

The flâneur (or flâneuse [flah-nuz]) if you're a girl, carries many connotations. For instance, a flâneur could simply be a lazy idler like I've been these days. But to the poet Charles Baudelaire, the flâneur played a key role in the art world. His or her strolling was not meaningless. He or she was an observer of modern life, who interpreted the changing world in his art. Let's see what Simone and Amy Lynn know about flâneurs...

Simone:  Amy Lynn, get up! Let's do something! You've been such a flâneuse lately!

Amy Lynn: You mean in the Baudelairean sense?

Simone:  First of all, no! I mean, move your lazy butt, and second of all, how do you even know who Baudelaire is?

Amy Lynn:Like, Pierre reads sexy yet depressing French poetry to me almost every day. So, whatever!

And what about you? Do you think of yourself as a flâneur or flâneuse of some sort?

Merci Beaucoup,
Mademoiselle Love
Jenée here: 
This French term is very useful for the Fashion blogging crowd. Comme Moi (like me;) 

While the literal definition of flâneur is an urban spectator, the more slang definition would be people watcher. I learned this phrase on my first visit to New York over 20 years ago. I was sitting with my uncle at a sidewalk café and he said, "People watching is the best in New York." Since sidewalks in NYC are like streets in the rest of America, everyone is on display as they are on their way to work, to a party or to the grocery store. Now, put a camera in the hand of a flâneur and they are a Street Style Blogger

My favorite Street Style Blogger of all time is the original SSB, long before blogs were even a thought: Bill Cunningham of the New York Times. He is many generations older than me and rides his bike all over NYC. Once Ari rode right along side him and told him, "My wife loves you!". Now there is a YouTube channel with his weekly On the Street videos. 

The other most famous flâneurs with a camera are The Satoralist and Tommy Ton. Their photography is very enjoyable if you love people watching and you don't have the luxury of sitting all day at a sidewalk café in a New York City.

Happy French Friday. Grab your Tasse de Café, click on the links above, and be a modern flâneur today.

The Origin of "La Tasse de Café", French for "the cup of coffee"
is a morning radio show out of Ville Platte, Louisiana on KVPI-FM
My dad listens to it regularly to keep up with his Cajun French as he now doesn't have much opportunity to speak it in Louisiana where the language is disappearing. 
Since I'm from Cajun land in Louisiana, with a serious interest in fashion and Mademoiselle Love, a Louisiana girl too, who is head over heels in love with everything French and everything coffee, it was only fitting we pay tribute to our roots and our new found loves.
Tune in to KVPI every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 8:45AM (NY time) for your Cajun French lesson and come back to the blog every Friday for more French lessons from Mademoiselle Love. We will discuss useful French  words or expressions for the fashionable girl. To make it even more enjoyable, we will do it over a very fashionable cup of coffee.