Feeling Concrete (or Snow) Under His Toes

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Journalist Thane Burnett went barefoot to feel the true grit of Toronto’s streets. He was a neophyte to the unshod lifestyle; his 10 little ‘piggies’ were always wrapped up tight while going to market — or anywhere else. For this one-day experiment on the pavement, he walked with Barefoot Moe, an expert on the ropes (and over the cracks).

Their conversation and the bare bottom walkabout did not convert the journalist.  He certainly did his research, presenting facts and anecdotes on the increasing popularity of going barefoot. However, as he walked he glanced enviously at the shoes on a homeless man and at the tiny ones on a baby. The article gives clear voice to Barefoot Moe’s enthusiasm. But, once the journalist was alone, he frantically washed his feet in an office washroom sink and quickly donned his black-leather shoes.  Once a shoddie, always a shoddie? 

No flip flopping in this story.

 

Adapted from:  http://www.theobserver.ca/2009/08/25/barefooters-take-to-the-road

Photo Source of Barefoot Moe:  https://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=barefoot+Moe+images&gbv=2&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=cyxDU9noD4a9yAGHsoGwBw&ved=0CBsQsAQ

 

 

 

Dancing Shoe Battery, Version One

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“Since many ballerinas consider their shoes as almost extensions of their feet — vital pieces of equipment to help create the illusion that human beings were meant to dance on tiptoe — an entire unusual shoe culture crops up at dance companies.”

Michael Cooper of the New York Times describes how dancers at City Ballet, achieve an almost noiseless performance in their toe shoes. Before donning them, they pummel them.  He describes:

  • a nightly ritual of mercilessly whacking pink satin shoes against a cinder-block wall,
  • the incessant shoe battery… BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! that echoes throughout the backstage area,
  • the bending of shoes back and forth, and
  • crushing them in doors.

These rituals create ‘old’ soft shoes, which are then worn in comfort and moved in noiselessly.  At two pairs per performance and 10 or 12 pairs a week, the bill and the shoe-bullying can be a bit wearing. 

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/30/at-city-ballet-footwear-is-almost-as-important-as-feet/