Monthly Archives: August 2010

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Samba schools around Brazil are starting their practice sessions for next February’s Carnival shenanigans.  Still, during the off-season, many schools offer glimpses of skin and sequins for tourists and Sunday strollers.  Here’s (very rough) video of a tiny group from Rio’s Salgueiro Samba School, warming up the crowd with hips and syncopation on a dreary winter’s day in Copacabana.

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Guess where.

Flaneur – (n.) from French. One who wanders aimlessly, who roams, who travels at a lounging pace. Aimlessly?

“What I required was not exactly solitude, but the opportunity to roam around freely, meeting people when I wished and taking leave of them when I wished.”

-Gérard de Nerval

“…it is exile that evokes the sensitive intellectual, the critical spirit operating alone on the margins of society, a traveler, rootless and yet at home in every metropolis, a tireless wanderer from academic conference to academic conference, a thinker in several languages, an eloquent advocate for ethnic and sexual minorities—in short, a romantic outsider living on the edge of the bourgeois world.”

-Ian Buruma

“The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes.  His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd.  For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite.  To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the center of the world, and yet to remain free from the world— such are a few of the slightest pleasures of those independent, passionate, natures which the tongue can but clumsily define.”

-Charles Baudelaire