In August, when all the Parisians leave town, the city slows to a near-complete standstill. Here are 9 ideas to help you stage a French-style summer slowdown no matter where you live. Vive la #slowlife.
Just because you're on a rolling desk chair instead of a beach blanket doesn't mean you can't embrace the #slowlife. Resist the urge to Ctrl + T every time you're waiting for a page to load. It's called monotasking, and it will make your brain feel better.
SHOOT A ROLL OF FILM
The limited number of exposures will force you to slow down and and 'make' a photo rather than just take one. (Something to bear in mind: what Henri Cartier-Bresson called the Decisive Moment.)
There's a coherence between an artist's songs that gets lost when you just cherry-pick individual tracks. Examples include The Beatles' Abbey Road, or Serge Gainsbourg's Histoire de Melody Nelson—worth experiencing to from start to finish, like you would with a film.
BAKE YOUR OWN BRIOCHE
Swirling the egg yolks into this delicate, sticky dough is a meditative experience in itself. Multiple days of slow-rising in the fridge help bring out brioche's light, buttery, sweetness—so try not to take shortcuts. We're #slowlifing, remember?
Or at least, all of one director's best films. A good starter pack: The Spanish Apartment, Russian Dolls, Chinese Puzzle, Paris, and Ce Qui Nous Lie (not yet out in English)—all directed by Cédric Klapisch.
SHOP FOR SOMETHING SMALL
—for someone else. Ideally, go looking without anything or anyone particular in mind: the idea is to keep your eyes peeled for something that makes you go "ah! That would be perfect for __________."
The French verb "flâner" (flah-nay) doesn't have a concise equivalent in English. It means to wander without purpose or direction while letting your curiosity pull you down sidestreets you'd never otherwise explore. If you have plans to move to Paris, you'd best master the art of being a flâneuse now.
Read Lauren Elkin's excellent book Flâneuse to get started.