Sparkly Silver Salsa Shoes

20 01 2010

The gold stilettos are pouting. There is a new addition to the shoe rack, and they are getting a lot of attention these days—a lot more than the stilettos are (especially in light of the frigid weather of late). For some months now I have been meaning to properly introduce these snazzy new (and highly alliterative) shoes, so here they are…

I’ve been enamored of salsa for a long time, officially since I first took lessons in Spain during my summer abroad in Granada. Since then, I’ve tried to no avail to convert countless friends, until finally I met Liz in Buenos Aires. As regular readers know, we bonded instantly over our mutual love of travel (specifically Latin culture) and sweets (specifically alfajores), but even more fun—and perhaps a little surprising—was the discovery that we both loved salsa. This led to the infamous night early in my Argentina trip where I (and my poor feet) learned painful lesson that dancing shoes should not be purchased in a hurry (cue silly Arthur Murray song, which really has no relevance, but I like it).

On Liz’s visit to New York, we of course went dancing, but it was a major struggle to find a place. I searched Salsa New York until my head hurt, but it was simply too overwhelming to figure out where to go. We ended up at a club called Latin Quarter, but only managed to get a few dances in. She left, and I continued to say I was going to find places to dance (shouldn’t be hard in the city that is said to have coined the name, right?), and continued to fail in my pursuit.

Finally, this past September, I gave up on trying to cajole friends into coming with, and started taking classes at Salsa International. Fascination quickly turned into obsessed, and soon I was shopping for my very own salsa shoes, which have now been in the family for a couple months and are already very well loved. Their suede bottoms slide easily on the dance floor (though require that I periodically brush the soles to maintain the suede) and they’ve been getting so much use they’ve started to feel a bit like a second skin. I’ve also made a whole new set of friends as equally obsessed with salsa as I, so I’m no longer strapped for people to go dancing with.

The lesson learned here is twofold: 1) don’t wait around for friends to develop the same interests; if you want to do something, go out and do it; and 2) the shoes make all the difference. (Just don’t tell the stilettos that.)

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Elda, Spain Shoe Outlets – Take Me There

4 06 2009

It’s come to my attention that Avenida Camila Jose Cela in Elda, Spain (just a few hours outside Madrid) is also known as the Spanish Shoe Outlet Route. Hello. Someone sign me up.

It is here that several designers, including Paco Gil and now Chie Mihara, have outposts, and sell their shoes at a discount. I loved Spain before, but our love affair just got a little deeper. Sure, outlet prices are still probably pretty steep, but it never hurt a girl to look, right?

Also in Elda? Museo del Calzado, also known as the Museum of Footware. It’s sounding like I need to take the stilettos on a little field trip…





Pack Rat

2 04 2009

I leave tomorrow on a much needed trip. I’m heading down to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to write about a resort there. Since I’m seeing long lost friends for dinner tonight, I had to pack last night. It was no small feat. I’ve never been that great at economical packing, but it’s even more of a challenge when after many sun-starved months you start pulling out the beloved summer clothes that have been lying dormant in the back of the closet.

Not only do I prefer summer to winter, I found last night that I’m much more fond of my summer clothes than of my winter ones. I pulled out sundress after sundress and then had a debate with myself over how many outfits one really needs on a tiny Caribbean island. All to the tune of my latest obsession, a Spice Girls (yes I said Spice Girls)  station on Pandora—a combination of 90s pop, it’s just the sort of guilty pleasure that takes me back a long way to silly late night study breaks in high school (and less of a long way to rocking out at EuroCheapo).

I settled on four dresses that could go day or night and a couple that were just easy to throw on over a swimsuit, along with a couple pairs of shorts and plenty of workout clothes, as I intend to indulge in the yoga offered on the island, as well as many long hikes. It’s probably still far too much, but since the Squirrel is staying at home, and summer clothes take up so little room, I figure it’s okay. Also coming along is my new love affair, Flip, though the gold stilettos, much to their dismay, are sitting this trip out.

It’s my first foray into the Caribbean and I’m oh-so-happy about it. As are my summer dresses.





Current Obsession: Flip, the Universal Color

23 02 2009

I’ll admit it. There was a time when I was a bit of a Mac rat. While living in San Francisco I developed a bit of an addiction to the makeup products and my roommate Megan and I frequented the nearby store on our beloved Union Street, partly to visit David, the fantastic artist there, whom we adopted as a good friend, and partly just because we liked to play with makeup.

Over the course of a year or so in the height of my addiction I amassed what we’ll just call a good quantity of makeup. Enough that I really don’t have to purchase anything but the essentials (foundation, which is the only thing that runs out in any rapidity) now. I have a train case full of colors I wear all the time and colors that I had no business buying (think Aquadisiac, good for nothing save that one never-going-to-come day when I decide to be a mermaid for Halloween).

Anyhow, after being a student and now a struggling artist, my lack of dispensable income and my overflow of product keeps me from entering a Mac store with any regularity. I did, however, visit one the other day to replace the aforementioned foundation, and there in the front was a color that was simply singing to me. I had to stop, ogle it, do the requisite sample on the hand, and after several minutes (a good 15, at least), turning it over and giving it as much affection as possible, I had to treat myself and purchase.

The color, Flip, is my latest obsession and, quite possibly, the best $14.50 ever spent. It’s sort a bronze tone with flecks of sheen that bounce off the eye in the prettiest of ways. The mix of golden/brownish/pinkish hues means it goes well with just about anything in my massive train case of shadows (save, perhaps for the confounded Aquadisiac), but it is also great just on its own.

It’s easy and universal and oh-so-pretty, which is why I’m naming it numero uno travel color. It’s perfect for the girl on the go who can’t pack too much. Simply bring along Flip, or better yet, pick up a palette and fill it with Flip and some complementary colors (I recommend something in a brown, a purple, or even something with a bit of orange). They sell empty palettes to fill on your own and they are flat, light weight and make it easy to pack all your makeup needs in one spot. Leave it to Mac to make it easy. Now if only someone would explain what possessed me to put bright turquoise on my eyes…





Living the Dream

19 09 2008

Yes, I survived Fashion Week. (Barely.) My feet are still a little angry with me and have refused to wear heels since Saturday, but they are gearing up for Saturday, when the fabulous Liz, my Buenos Aires friend comes from London. I am still getting over the cold I acquired and I have finally found the floor in my room.

But don’t feel sorry for me. I certainly don’t. Fashion Week was rough, but absolutely amazing too. I met some great people, made a new friend, saw some gorgeous clothes, and wrote a lot. I also got to have my photo taken with Tyson Beckford and spoke to  J. Alexander from America’s Next Top Model.

But here is the best part of all. Every day at Fashion Week I watched photographers get women up onto the runway and photograph their outfits. I vied with people for views of these women, thinking they were famous, only to find out that they weren’t. The photographers just wanted to capture their outfits. And their outfits were generally fabulous. And enviable.

Come Thursday, I was walking out of the tent, clad in my very favorite Club Monaco (which is not terribly Fashion Week) skirt with the drop waist, and a giant bag containing my laptop, totally out of it and on my way to another show, when a phtographer stops me. He wanted a photo of my outfit. My outfit. I was stunned. And quite not a little thrilled. And so shocked I forgot to ask who he was with. Oops. So there is a photo floating around somewhere of me in my new favorite outfit. Oh well, still exciting. (But don’t mention it to the gold stilettos. They are still seething that they were not along.)

And here, since I don’t have that photo, Tyson:

With new friends, and prettiness.

With new friends, and prettiness.





Shameless Self-Promotion: Happy Feet!

9 09 2008

Or, rather, make that Happy Shoes. My feet, on the other hand, may never be the same. But it’s all in the name of fashion.

(Enter Shameless Self Promotion…)

The gold stilettos are officially in heaven. And I’m blissfully happy (though insanely sleep-deprived) too! We’ve both gotten to attend one of New York’s coolest and most hyped events: Fashion Week. That’s right: yours truly is covering Fashion Week for Timeout New York! Huge, huge deal.

I started attending shows on Wednesday and am officially fascinated. It’s a whole other world, with great people watching, lots of lusting after gorgeous clothes, and very little sleep. But I’ll take it. I will post more thoughts later, but now that’s all the time I have. I will, of course, implore you to read about the shows, here.





Everything I Need to Know…

30 05 2008

…I learned from Sex and the City?

New York has Sex and the City fever this week. Movie theaters all over the city have had signs up all week advertising pre-sale tickets, the papers are all buzzing with the hype and anticipation, and I must admit I’m not immune. I discussed it yesterday over lunch with a friend, have been emailing about it with Liz (my Buenos Aires buddy) in London, and the girls here have been playing email tag all week to decide on a move-viewing date and post-movie outing. We won’t be in the throng this weekend, though, mainly because Libby will be out of town, and we can’t see the movie without one of the girls. That would be something akin to sacrilege.

But today, when I saw a group of women standing out in front of a movie theater, all dressed up and ready for the show, I got to thinking: what it is about SATC that gets us so excited, that makes groups of women not only plan seeing the movie, but plan travel so they can see it in New York?

The other night, when a friend mentioned she’d love an alcove apartment, “like Carrie’s,” another (male) friend commented on how strange it is that the show has influenced women so much. And sure, it has stimulated the way we dress, the places we eat, even the way we talk, but there are a few things far more important about the show (and now, I think, movie) than the really great style.

There’s New York, for one, which SJP has called the fifth character. The show is as much about New York as it is about the girls, and living here now I actually understand it. (At least in the summertime.) There’s something about New York City that captivates and overwhelms. It’s not just the Empire State Building and Central Park, but the Shake Shack, and the Union Square farmer’s market. It’s a crisp fall day, or better yet the first warm day after a brutal winter, when everyone comes out of hibernation and the parks literally hum with excitement. It’s the feeling that you’re part of all this, that in a city of nearly 20 million people from all over the world and all walks of life, you’re part of a community. Not to mention that New York (and SATC does likewise) makes the perfect companion for the single girl. Just ask Carrie herself.

And the reason that New York is a single girl’s companion is yet another reason we love SATC: New York, and the show, stand for independence, risk, and being an individual. I often tell people who ask how I like it here that my favorite thing about living in New York is that eight out of 10 people I meet are transplants, and not only are they transplants, but they moved here to follow some sort of dream (even if that dream was just to live in New York) and they took a huge risk in doing so. The SATC gals are grand because they refuse to be “tamed.”

But most the most important reason we love SATC is what it says about female friendship. Strong, unafraid (and stylish) females are what Around the World is all about, and my favorite part of that is celebrating girlfriends. The ones who help pick out date night outfits, and are there the next day to rehash every detail of said date, the ones who celebrate our triumphs and help clean up our messes, the ones who join us on trips, to stuff our faces or climb a mountain.

And with that, as a strong, risk-taking female and New York resident (and a Sex and the City tour veteran) myself, I welcome all the girls (and girlfriends) who have come to celebrate the movie. (Before, that is, I climb under my rock so no one spoils it for me.)

Oh, and did I mention that SATC is also about shoes?