Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude

Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude

by Stephanie Rosenbloom


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"In Paris (or anywhere else, really) a table for one can be a most delightful place." —Alone Time, as seen in The New York Times

A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of traveling solo

In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller—and even in one's own city—is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world—patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds—in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others.

Alone Time is divided into four parts, each set in a different city, in a different season, in a single year. The destinations—Paris, Istanbul, Florence, New York—are all pedestrian-friendly, allowing travelers to slow down and appreciate casual pleasures instead of hurtling through museums and posting photos to Instagram. Each section spotlights a different theme associated with the joys and benefits of time alone and how it can enable people to enrich their lives—facilitating creativity, learning, self-reliance, as well as the ability to experiment and change. Rosenbloom incorporates insights from psychologists and sociologists who have studied solitude and happiness, and explores such topics as dining alone, learning to savor, discovering interests and passions, and finding or creating silent spaces. Her engaging and elegant prose makes Alone Time as warmly intimate an account as the details of a trip shared by a beloved friend—and will have its many readers eager to set off on their own solo adventures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399562303
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,009,883
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Rosenbloom is the staff columnist for the Travel section of The New York Times, where she has been a reporter for various desks (including Styles, Business, and Real Estate) for more than a decade. She has appeared on CNN's American Morning, NBC's The Today Show, and NPR's The Takeaway.

Read an Excerpt

Paris; June. The taxi rolled to a stop in front of 22 rue de la Parcheminerie. It was Saturday morning, before the café chairs were put out, before visitors began arriving at the old church, before check-in time at the little hotel with its window boxes of red geraniums.

Excerpted from "Alone Time"
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Copyright © 2018 Stephanie Rosenbloom.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Witches and Shamans 1

Part I Spring: Paris


Café et Pluie ˜ Coffee and Rain-The Science of Savoring 21

La Vie Est Trop Courte pour Boire du Mauvais Vin ˜ Life Is Too Short to Drink Bad Wine-On Eating Alone 37

A Picnic for One in the Luxembourg Gardens-Alternatives to the Table 51

Of Oysters and Chablis-Servings of Delight and Disappointment 61


Musée de la Vie Romantique-How to Be Alone in a Museum 75

Window-Licking-Finding Your Muse 91

Part II Summer: Istanbul


Üsküdar-The Art of Anticipation 105

The Hamam-The Importance of Trying New Things 115

Call to Prayer-Learning to Listen 125


The Rainbow Stairs of Beyoglu-Appreciation 135

Before It's Gone-Ephemeralities 143

Part III Fall: Florence


Arrows and Angels-Games for One 153

Alone with Venus-On Seeing 167


The Secret Corridor-Schooling Yourself 177

Part IV Winter: New York


The City-On Assignment 197

Sanctuaries and Strangers-Designing Home 211

Ode to the West Village 223

Tips and Tools for Going It Alone 231

Acknowledgments 249

Notes 253

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