In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York
When I first heard Jay Z & Alicia Keys sing Empire State of Mind late last year I was blown away. I might have cried a wee bit.
New York is my favourite city. My mother a native New Yorker and I spent many family holidasy in my grandmother’s cigarette-smoke-filled apartment in Ocean Parkway. New York has always been a home away from home and an inspiration to me – other than in Milan the most chic women that I have ever seen are walking the streets of Manhattan. Whenever I think of physically being there I get a quiet wee adrenaline rush.
When I met Cheryl Wishcover – her twitter handle is @CherylAnneNY – that two letter suffix NY brought the iconic NY rebus to my mind:
Cheryl wasn’t born in New York (she’s from Lombard, Illinois – 50 miles from the South Side of Chicago) very few New Yorkers are or ever were. It is a city of full of migrants, excitement, possibilities, danger, groundbreaking and heartbreaking style.
Cheryl has a blog entitled Perils & Parallels which, despite her strongly held belief otherwise, is a bloody good read; is currently covering Project Runway on Salon.com, band and writes for Fashionista.com. I love reading her fashion writing. I let out involuntary ‘eep‘ noises when she Twitpics her shoes.
According to the Urban Dictionary a fashionista is a person devoted to fashion clothing, particularily unique or high fashion. That is Cheryl. She’s a true original.
I have been nagging incessantly her to do a guest blog post for me for months – she has finally given in to my stalkerish entreaties. Now we will all be longing for a pair of these life altering shoes.
I live a literal world away from @Gabfran but we bonded immediately over our obsessive love of shoes and style. When I first read this blog, what really struck me was that she was not really writing about shoes; she was writing about life. For women in particular, certain memories are forever entwined with the shoes they wore. It sounds ridiculous, but is it really? If you think so, you’d best not continue reading. I’m going to attempt to make a case for shoes that may actually be life-altering. (Yes, I often tend towards the dramatic)
I’m a nurse practitioner in the United States. I have no idea if this job exists in other countries. I had a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). After working as an RN for a few years and deciding that I was tired of following orders from snot-nosed medical students who knew a lot less than me, I decided to return to school for a Master’s Degree. More certifications followed, and I now have a trail of letters following my professional name.
My current career is a great combination of independence and collaboration. I can examine patients, make medical decisions, and prescribe medications, yet I don’t have the gruelling schedule and massive potential liability that physicians have. But the best thing about this job? I no longer have to wear scrubs and clogs. I wear street clothes.
Superficial? Perhaps. But let me tell you—you don’t feel like you can conquer the world when you’re clomping around in white leather (yes, you read it correctly–WHITE LEATHER) clogs embossed with a little blue heart:
Through the years, my work footwear has gotten taller, jazzier, blingier, and less hospital-appropriate to the point that now when I wear a pair of basic black pumps, my colleagues ask me if I have some sort of knee injury that is preventing me from wearing better shoes. I’m proud of my signature look. Superficial? Perhaps.
I’ve been suffering from career burn-out and general I’m-in-my-thirties malaise. For some unfathomable reason, I decided that maybe I could be a fashion writer. (I know. This sounds ridiculous. I’m well aware). Somehow I landed an internship at a fashion website and am still there stumbling along and humbly learning about fashion journalism from 20-somethings. Being a lover of security and comfort, I’ve gotten used to my role as the “experienced one” at the hospital. Doing this new thing is completely foreign and scary and I have frequent self-confidence malfunctions.
Enter the Alexander Wang Freja boot:
First of all, if you’ve never heard of Alexander Wang, he is a brilliant new-ish American designer, and currently up for a CFDA award (the fashion equivalent of the Oscars). He also designs kick-ass tough accessories. Nothing girly here. His Freja boot has been in a multitude of spring fashion editorials. I wanted it the minute I saw it. I bought the last pair in my size on his website the first day they were available, and hoped my husband wouldn’t see the credit card bill until after I’d worn them enough times that they couldn’t possibly be returned.
The minute I put these shoes on I felt confident and fearless. They are really tall (4.5 inches/11cm) with not one but two zippers and some heavy hardware. The shape and profile is really unusual. You must strut in these shoes; you can’t trudge or tiptoe. The zippers make a loud clanking sound, so everyone knows you’re approaching. The inside of the heel is shiny and metallic. These are shoes that literally shout, “I am here, damn it! Notice me!”:
The first day I wore them I caused a furore at my kids’ school, nearly gave some construction workers a heart attack, and was complimented at least five times by various females of all ages. Yes, perhaps they made me a bit cocky. But I really, really need some cockiness these days.
My feet hurt at the end of the day when I take these shoes off. But I don’t notice the pain. I only notice the dizzying heights I’m at when I wear them.