Wednesday, March 14, 2012

on the seventh day in paris

14 - March - 2012

Well dear Reader,

The sixth day in paris was so eventful and hectic that it was impossibly late to write about it, so we now tackle the seventh day, and an adventurous one too.

It all started with looking down the staircase while waiting for the elevator.

It's hard not to admire the mixture of the dark crimson carpet, the ivory black of the banister, the subtle pale grey of the walls, and the sort of peach ham color of the stony steps.

Then listening to the only voice of courage, the Reporter flew to her most favorite of favorite of all stores in paris :
the admirable Sennelier.

There she got some supplies passionately needed as she has been commissioned for a work of art, what else.
She tried to furtively take some shots of the inside of that venerable house, but as there was no customer that early morning
and all eyes of the suspicious staff were on her meager person, she most meekly transferred her i phone back to her satchel, and looked very innocuous for the rest of her visit. Too bad as Sennelier has indeed the most eccentric arrangement of crowded wooden shelves you could wedge in such tight quarters.

Then after vacillating between hundreds of different options, she finally decided to branch on a subject which she hadn't pondered on, nor ruminated about, yet.
And I mean to say : men's shoes.

Men's shoes in United States is a pretty simple subject. it will be either sneakers, flip flops or some sort of cheap lawyers shoes.
Men's shoes in france are an entirely different landscape.

As a matter of fact, this post here will barely tackle the essence of that landscape, so vast is the subject, its possibilities, its modalities, its new trends, its implications in the french men's life. In a word, or a few, it is a Shakesperean subject.

First, let it be said that the frenchman doesn't know the word 'sneaker.' On occasion, when he is near the sea, he will let himself to wear some boat shoes, usually, as a matter of fact, of an american brand, and usually faded to a gentle neutral color due to the wear and tear. You will simply not see on a french man feet, a [ gasp ] new plastic neon color sport shoe. It just will not happen.

He may in the middle of a holiday, show off some canvas sneaker, of the very old fashioned model, designed this way :

A tennis shoe that already existed in the Thirties.
This is how far a french man will go in the sporting department.

Now the rest of the time, men will be seen wearing those :

Well, as a matter of fact, NO. This is the very elegant shoe of the Reporter.
So rather they will wear those :

or those :

or those :

Those above are in fact worn by a very very elegant teenager who was not ready to give this one pair of shoes to someone needing a pair, as he was looking at them while waiting for the cashier, with much pleasure, lust and love.

Or last those :

Now those were the best. It's hard to see on the photo which is sinfully dark, but they were of dark brown suede, and they must have cost a fortune, but the nice thing was that their owner, a gentleman in his early forties, was not at all lost in the beauty of his own feet. He was in fact discussing the inside merits of two different cotton boxer shorts with a lovely sales lady and he was really putting all this heart into it. If he had been just a little more deeply involved with the said boxer shorts, it might have been possible for the Reporter to discreetly pull out the laces and who knows, she might have walked away with a beautiful pair of brown shoes though she would have been at a loss at what to do with them, realizing that men's shoes are not the equivalent of a glass slipper.

Still, this was about a wildly beautiful landscape anyway.

Till next time, with all affection,

the Frog

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