Having to wear shoes all day in summer feels like foot binding

gull on the wing at Brighton BeachMy feet are shredded; torn up and abused by the shoes of summer. It’s not that the shoes are uncomfortable per se, but most (cute) summer shoes are too flat to wear often, and the others I counterbalance with: too constraining.

Opposites, each feels a relief after the other, yet compounding irritations alternately. It being a hot summer, sweat and humidity conspire— abrasions result, and blisters. Picture a ballerina’s bruised little hooves; that’s how mine feel.

The truth is, I’m not accustomed to wearing shoes for so many hours at a time. All the years working from home, I rarely wore shoes. Only to leave the house.

And despite my need for walks —2-3 hour stretches a few times a week to go thinking, when I was my own boss— my erstwhile feet were still more lithe and nimble; never sore or stiff. So I put it down to too much time constrained, even (perhaps especially), when idle.

Having shoes on all day puts me in mind of foot binding. What an effective approach to make people* stay where they were put— first the pain, then the twisted-up appendages, unable to do what they were made for.

I took trains with the shortest walks home tonight, which I never do, and pain was why. What utterly avoidable nonsense.




A walking tour: Chelsea to South Slope

Work took me to the isle of Manhattan today. As the meeting was in Chelsea, I availed myself of the opportunity to walk the High Line. A fine afternoon for it, though I wished awfully I had dressed more appropriately for the [delightful] heat. Happy tourists; many languages overheard.
003004I took a lot of photos. It’s what I do anyway, but at this point I’m practically a tourist myself in the big town. I tend to stick around Brooklyn a lot.

Everywhere is under construction. This city is forever shedding its skin.

005A long stroll south on Hudson Street, then inland, and through TriBeCa.  (Avoid the hydra of traffic all round the Holland tunnel; 3:30 is rush hour on a summery Friday; mass exodus.)

City Hall. A tangle of angry motorists with their fists on their horns. Cacophony! A thousand arguments for public transport right there.

009The perennial wind crossing Whitman’s beloved bridge is welcome today. And, observe: this curious Parisian custom has followed Lady Liberty across the Atlantic.
010012Ten or so miles to arrive back in my neighborhood, with slightly aching feet. (Why spend 45 minutes on the train when you could spend three hours on foot, seeing so many neighborhoods and people out and about?)

A soon farewell

It hit me last night— Zac’s last day in Brooklyn is in eight days. It’s cast a sudden melancholy pall on the holiday weekend, a Sunday sadness, and I’ve found myself thinking about how different my life will be when he’s gone. We’ve been practically inseparable for over four years; a significant friendship, and solid.

In my usual way, I’m focusing on how to approach this (big) change positively. A lot of my time will necessarily take on new shape. I need to be deliberate about it. A lot of things will benefit from me being more deliberate. (It’s long been in process, but there’s room for improvement.)

I’ve lived these kinds of changes many times, to varying degrees— something outside your control has a significant impact on your life. You can react or you can act. Always it’s better to be proactive. Just reacting puts you in a deficit one way or another.

December will be a tumult. A week to farewell Zac. Deadlines, traveling to work on a project in Santa Fe, traveling for Christmas, and then the New Year. It’s hard to stay focused when being pulled in many directions, but I’ve found being legit busy is helpful during adaptation moments.

And writing, walking. Stay in motion. There’s the Scorpio in me— a moving target is so much harder to hit.

A philosophical pedestrianism

Prospect Park, magic hour, November
The boat house in Prospect park, just before the magic hour

Autumn, like Spring, is adventure time. Wander time. I’ve been filling up on these. You decide an initial direction or destination, from there you follow your feet, or state of mind. You flow.

Chasing miles. Chasing the magic hour. Moonrise. It’s nice to chase it all in my own city; the deepening blue, jeweled with lights of infrastructure and the glow emanating from warm interiors. The city is magic when it’s favoring you.

After five or six miles, stop. A cocktail, some candlelight, and anthropology in a social setting. There are loads of non-American accents in this bar, and it’s nice; makes me feel like I’m traveling after all.

Back outside. The F train overhead, BQE in the near distance: glittering caterpillars foregrounding the still-low crescent, rising.

Everything in transit.

Continue reading “A philosophical pedestrianism”

Brooklyn is always great for wandering


You know it’s December when WordPress is snowing 🙂

Yesterday I walked just over 4 miles (6.5 km) while running errands— a much shorter walk than Sunday (above), but enjoyable. I downloaded the app Runkeeper to my phone, so from now on I can track mileage, etc. Brilliant little app, simple to use.

Continue reading “Brooklyn is always great for wandering”