red shoe stories

Life has been so wild lately, you guys. I have so many stories to tell, but for some reason, my mind is a mushy, dull blob lacking any creative juices whatsoever, and words are eluding me like an ex-boyfriend in the grocery store. Being a writer who can't write a dang thing is kind of a sad story, so I've decided to show you what I can't seem to say at the moment.

After years of pining away for the bright lights and energy of New York, a few weeks ago, I hopped off a plane at Laguardia with a backpack and my most comfortable pair of shoes. I came to visit one of my favorite people, a grad student and Columbia. (Although, by the time I post this, she will have her Master's degree! What what!) When I travel to exciting places like New York, I really like to live in luxury, so I requested an air mattress on the floor of her 12-square-foot dorm room. #TreatYoSelf! No, but seriously, I think my first NYC experience was probably a lot closer to the experiences of my fellow twentysomethings in the city. Authenticity is way better than luxury. I'm pretty sure about that.

We had so much fun, and it was a much-needed distraction from work and school and life in general. I couldn't think about all that AND navigate the one subway line on which I managed to not get lost, so my mind stayed gleefully unmuddled by everyday things. There's not much I love more than exploring a new city, so NYC was my playground for four days. I must have walked 100 1,000 miles. I came home with a foot injury I'm still dealing with, despite wearing my favorite pair of red exploring shoes. By the way, how does one live in New York without owning a scooter, Segway or Rascal?

On the streets and in the subways of New York, I found that I had to look down almost as much as I looked up - mostly to avoid stepping in dropped food and dog poo or falling into the gap between the subway car and the platform. (That was a pretty major concern of mine.) Looking down and seeing those red shoes became my comforting companion. They walked over marble floors in Grand Central, grassy patches in Central Park, rubber bumps on subway platforms, cracked sidewalks in SoHo, and gravel on the shore in Brooklyn.

This is the first of the Red Shoe Stories. Enjoy!

The adventure begins in Dallas. Look how clean and bright red they are!

Columbia University library. Trying to blend in with the college kids. Someone called me ma'am.
Overwhelmed in Times Square.
My favorite New Yorker.
180' of people.
My first NYC hotdog was TERRIBLE. Never need to do that again.

Reading in the park.
The REAL John's Pizzeria on Bleecker.
Subway platform bumps and grime.

I can only assume the bumps are there to give you better traction so you don't fall into the gap. :(

I stayed safely here behind the bumps.
Resting from strenuous shopping in SoHo.
Central Park. Green in the city!
The Brooklyn Flea (Market).
Newsies on Broadwaaaayyyyy!! (Sing it!)
9/11 Memorial was intense.
We failed at getting in, but we had an adventure trying!
Radio City Music Hall.
Grand Central.


Thank you to my awesome hostess and to NYC for not going easy on me. I left feeling exhausted and empowered, which is exactly how I like to leave a new city. Your subways don't scare me anymore, but your empty SNL promises cut me deep. I'll be back. And maybe I'll have a moving truck behind me next time!


  1. “We want more! We want more! It’s like, we really like it and we want more!”
    I can’t wait for your next adventure!

  2. It looks like we may have a budding New Yorker on our hands...I'm not sure I could keep up with that pace; Chicago would suit me better. Hoping you take a trip there soon; you seem to have a knack for uniquely capturing the experience of a new city - would love to read your perspective. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I like the way you described your NY adventures with your red shoes. The photos tell a lot too. Where is the next place your travel fellows (the shoes) will keep you company?

    1. Thank you for reading, Franca! The next stop is Tennessee, then on to Nicaragua. They are definitely my faithful companions. I just hope they last as long as my adventures! :)


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