Two little Boston Terrier girls bring their Momo & Mr.Momo to Paris for a long stay. These are the tales of their very fine adventures.
Can We Get Some Paris Shoes for Momo?
Paris is home to more than 2 million pairs of feet including those of various tourists. Maybe even a little more since it is summer. And then again, maybe a little less since most of the French leave Paris in August and typically take their footwear with them. If you factor out the feet of most tourists you have some very interesting footwear to observe. Just on Rue Joubert and Rue Caumartin you can find hundreds of feet to watch every single day as this photo indicates. And at Place Vendome, L&P are watching out for feet, and since it is raining they are wishing they had shoes to wear.
It is easy to spend time looking at feet. First, you really must look down to deftly miss those steaming piles of poop, and while looking up is worth your while too since I can now attest to the giant bird poops from above, generally there are fewer of those than the four legged kind. Also, Momo must observe the lay of the land so to speak when waltzing around Paris with L&P since the sidewalk buffet contains things that ought not be ingested by human or animal.
Ah, I digress once again. Back to feet.
If you are looking toward the array of feet that pass you by you will certainly notice that many if not most, are dressed in some very very nice attire. I myself would not rate heels, especially in the 2.5 inch or more range as very nice attire because just watching them move makes my feet hurt, but they certainly are tres stylish and they are usually worn on oh so small feet. Dainty toes. Most of the higher heel feet are very small, let's say American size 6 or under. That would just about cover Momo's big toe. Laugh all you want, but re-read the post on Too Large Feet and then send Momo a sympathy comment please.
And the design of the heels are unusual too. Not just simple stilettos, but a variety of airborne structures that look like architectural students may have designed them. All works of art. It is a pity they have to be walked in.
Momo's favorite pastime is watching the women of Paris tear their Achilles tendons running down or up the steps of the underground to catch a Metro in some of those architectural wonders. It must take years of practice and patient tutoring when these women were young girls and toddlers to train them to actually hike in these shoes.
The trend that is big in the United States - wearing running shoes with high heel work attire for commuting - has surely not caught on in Paris. No sane Paris fashionista would be caught anywhere without her beautiful stylish heels. Perhaps that answers some of the questions about why Parisians, particularly women as Momo has noticed, are usually not smiling much. They have intense looks of concentration which could actually be silent screams as they move about the city. One has to wonder what the Parisian expression during that daily hike would be if everyone was clad in sensible walking footwear, say, like a sneaker. I get the sense that they would rather go barefoot rather than give up the angst. At least most of them have lovely French manicures under those shoes.
And on the other hand Momo has seen her share of Audrey Hepburn flats strolling about the city. These too, are worn by tiny feet and they look ever so charming. It was a lucky break that Momo found a pair of flats that have a similar look and were in her size, which as we all know by now, is too large. While they are charmingly comfortable, they lack that same adorable itty bitty French foot look. The tiny little slipper flat must be just a tiny minute big as it strolls down the Boulevard. It ruins the look to have the shoe, say, appear on both curbs of an intersection at the same time.
The styles of these little flats vary tremendously, but they have one thing in common with each other and one thing in common with the heels. Black. All of them black. Ok. Perhaps a touch of brown, or some other muted color, but you will always find black on the shoe somewhere. It is a rule I do believe. Although Momo has noted that the window displays in the requisite les chaussures des femmes, two to a Rue, will have shoes in red, blue and black and sometimes white in the window. No self respecting French woman will buy those to wear in Paris. One store even had expensive flats with cat whiskers and ears on the front. Momo bet Mr. Momo that the shoe only came in a size 5 or less. Could you picture that shoe in a size that Momo would need? Someone would call an exterminator. The whiskers alone would need extra structural support to stay up, let alone the size of the ears. Good thing French woman's feet are tiny or the designer of that shoe would be out of a job.
So if you go to Paris, be sure to either come barefoot with a nice French manicure and buy yourself some heels or flats in black please. Or better yet, find an online shoe store from within France, order your French shoes and wear them to France. You will fit right in. And if you feel like shopping in Paris and paying that ridiculous exchange rate, Galleries Lafayette has an entire floor for women's shoes. Yes, indeed, an entire department store floor. Filled with women's shoes.
L&P don't really care about shoes in Paris, but they certainly care about getting stepped on. For the art of stepping carefully, L&P rate the shoes in Paris a nice 9 - since once someone came a bit too close. Momo rates the shoe show in Paris an entertaining 8. It could have been a 10 if there were actually shoes for Momo to buy.