πŸ“‘ The art of noticing: five ways to experience a city differently

Bookmarked The art of noticing: five ways to experience a city differently (the Guardian)

If you want to maintain or revive your sense of really attending to city environments, a good starting point is to give yourself simple criteria: what’s going on here that nobody particularly wants me to notice? What has no campaign behind it to seize my attention?

This could mean noticing a charming architectural detail that is not flashy enough to be in a guidebook, having a spontaneous conversation with a friendly stranger or just attending to something as elemental as the sound or smell of a place.

This openness is easier when we’re in tourist mode. When visiting a new place we pay attention to everything, it seems. The ecologist Liam Heneghan invented a word for this mindset: allokataplixis, combining the Greek allo, meaning β€œother,” and katapliktiko, meaning β€œwonder.” But it is possible to recapture a bit of allokataplixis now and then even in your home city, if you make an effort to break and vary your routines.

Rob Walker shares five ways to notice more in your city, taken from my book, The Art of Noticing:

  • Look for ghosts and ruins
  • Get there the hard way
  • Eat somewhere dubious
  • Read the plaque
  • Follow the quiet

This is a useful list to support my exploration of flanerie this year. It also adds to other strategies shared by Alan Levine and Amy Burvall.

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