Tag Archives: shoes

What Becomes of the Broken-Heeled?

On Valentine’s Day…

Any girl can tell you it’s dangerous out here. We fall, but with a little help from our friends, we get up, brush ourselves off, and fix our broken heels.

The shoe designer Nancy Kim happens to live in my neighborhood, and when I sent her a picture of the damage to my A.P.C. boots from a date a couple of weeks ago, she prescribed a visit to the shoe repair shop on Graham Avenue, just north of Grand Street. (I think it’s called Arthur’s–the photos of it were lost with my old phone on Wednesday.) $27 and 24 hours later, my broken heel was as good as new, both boots were protected with tough Vibram soles and the worst scuffs had been brushed away.

Today I’m wearing them with chili-colored tights and hopping between melting slush-puddles on my way to the fashion shows. I suppose they might break again, but after that last spill, they seem a little bit stronger.



Filed under closet case study, to market, Uncategorized

A Well-Heeled Girl

Did you ever have one of those great first dates, where you just find yourself waiting for the other shoe to drop?

Well, I had one the other night.

My suitor was exceedingly cute (in a tie under his sweater!). The food was outstanding. The conversation came easily. We were having a great time, and decided we ought to go for a drink after dinner. As we left the restaurant, I missed a giant stoop. I tripped, he caught me. No problem–until I went to take another step, and found one leg to be considerably shorter than the other.

The other shoe–or heel, more specifically, had dropped–ripped clean off my boot. This pair (made in Italy by A.P.C.) came from INA, the consignment shop on Prince Street, and seems likely to be a sample, based on some analysis of the inner cobbling. In spite of an uneven keel, I pressed on until the end of what turned out to be a totally terrific date.

At least nobody got hurt.

If you have an NYC shoe repair shop you love, please advise.


Filed under closet case study, Uncategorized

These Boots

This is an archival post from my personal blog, Jaybird, that seemed relevant as temperatures are beginning to drop here in NYC. I imagine I’ll be bringing you on a boot-hunt soon. I never did replace these, and word is that The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting snow around Thanksgiving.

From the Archives, dated February 4, 2009:

One Sport Boots, 1994-2009

One Sport Boots, 1994-2009

The New York winter finally did in my oldest pair of shoes. These beautiful boots carried me through Arapahoe National Forest, to the top of Telluride Mountain, to the bottom and back out of the Grand Canyon, over the hump of Half Dome and god-knows-where in the backwoods beyond Ojai. But after six winters in New York, on Broadway in Williamsburg, under the JMZ train, the left one said: No more. I can’t go on.

I can’t say I blame it. The roller coaster of wind, salt, radiators, subway steps, ice and snow ain’t easy. NYC is for many kinds of people (and accessories), but the faint of heart are not included.

Dear boots, Thanks for taking me so far.

Leave a comment

Filed under closet case study, Uncategorized

What Price Freebies?

So the other night I went to a launch party for Cole Haan’s new line, Cole, Rood & Haan. It was a pleasant little affair at the top of a wooden staircase in Soho, and if Todd Selby’s pretty pictures (like the one below) on their website, don’t reveal the collection’s target audience, the list of links on their “other things” page does. These shoes are for people who eat at Marlow & Sons and hang out at Mollusk Surf Shop when they’re not surfing Montauk or reading Monocle.

What’s the best way to make sure these (us?) shaggy young things wear Cole, Rood & Haan’s brogues and bucs? Well, give them a pair!

Maryam and Uday, New York City, August 2009

Photo from The Selby for Cole Haan

So that’s exactly what the company did–gave every guest a free pair. I was invited by extension, as a guest’s +1, which entitled me too, to pick out a pair. As a journalist, I’ve been warned of the perils of accepting freebies, lest I trade my integrity for a new accessory, however handsome. The common cautionary tale is about The New York Times’ questionnaire, where writers must disclose whether they have accepted any free merchandise, before working for The Times.

Now, free stuff happens in fashion all the time, but I’ve never gotten a “gift” in exchange for a kind article–maybe because I’m not that powerful. In any case, I wasn’t on assignment, and I was more interested in a complimentary cocktail upon arrival than I was in the new kicks.

But truly, maybe I’m not the girl they’re after, because I didn’t have to have any of the shoes. When someone asked me which pair I would take home I replied, none. At this point, I said, my wardrobe is more about editing than acquiring. “That’s so mature of you!” exclaimed an editor.

But it’s only sort of true. If they had the boots pictured below in girls’ sizes, I might have been in business:


But alas, they did not. So I turned the whole free conundrum on its head by taking a pair for a friend who incidentally works for free, as an intern, at The New York Times–a business that knows a thing or two about the foibles of freebies.

For more reading on free stuff you could see:

this post on Vanity Fair.com where I, incidentally, work for free (but did not write this): “Mapping Out Your Party Schedule Based on Freebies”


this book on the topic: Free: The Future of a Radical Price

It’s a New York Times bestseller.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized