The flaneur deliberately restrains himself from adopting a particular intentionality as this allows experience to unfold before him (or her); when something happens he is alive to the moment (which is in fact every moment). He remains open to the chance encounter, the neglected street sign, the drunken revellers.
The urban details, neglected by the hassled shopper, the hurrying businessman, or the eager traveller, seduce him. He enters a superimpository reverie in which the historical narrative of the city’s life unfolds itself. He reimagines different instants of the past, skipping backwards and forwards to view snapshots of historical moments.
The flaneur claims the fecundity of aloneness and the possibilities that this gives. His responsibility of attention is to no one but himself and the city, he has no obligation but to be drawn in by the city’s voluptuous narrative.