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24 May 09
The Great Shoe Catastrophy of May 2009
On a sunny day in Williamsburg, we strolled around looking for second hand bargains. It is entirely possible that this isn't a very cool thing to do anymore, in this fast-gentrifying area. Maybe the people we saw were actually imitators, rich people who were trying to be as hip as the hipsters in Williamsburg a few years ago. The real hipsters may already be somewhere else.

Anyway, a group including me, Ville, Kenneth, Kajsa and the LA band Tartans (+ entourage) entered the Bellhouse, a quite big second hand clothes store. It was there I found the blue creeper shoes that was to become my focus of attention during the next few days. They were perfect - velvety, in good shape and cheap. Only 18 dollars, which one of the Tartans said was a ”very reasonable price”. He works in LA's biggest second hand store, so he should know.

There was only one problem with them - the soles were too thick. They were of the double-sole (2 inches at the heel) variety, whereas I wanted lower ones. But my second-hand friend told me that I could easily take them to a shoe repair shop and have the soles sawn off.

So began the search for a shoe repair shop. I asked our host, Chris, who recommended Magic Joe, who had his shop near Chris's apartment in Bedford. So I went to Magic Joe's commissioned Joe himself to saw off quarter of an inch. Joe said he had to put a bottom on the shoe, since the rubber looked like it was deteriorating a bit at the edges. I said that was okay, as long as the bottom was thin so it wouldn't alter the profile of the shoe.

When I got them the next day, I was very pleased. They now looked exactly the way I wanted. But after walking not more than one kilometre with them, I sensed something was not right. The bottom, which was glued on only hours ago, started to peel off, but not at the joint - I could see it was the sole itself that was giving up. At this point, I thought I could just fix it with some more shoe glue, which Ville had brought with him, strangely enough.

I glued them and let them dry over night, and the next day I put them on for the gig. That's when my troubles really began. I noticed a crack in the rubber sole, and soon a realised that there was a big cavity under the heal. The once so massive sole now looked fragile, and pulverized rubber started to leak from within. Now I knew they were beyond simple repair, and I planned to put them on display in my apartment until I would find someone willing and able to put new soles on them. Little did I know that I wouldn't even be able to do that.

After the concert, during which I told the audience about my problems, we were to walk to the subway station and take the train back to Mark's (to whose beautiful house we had moved the day before). That would turn out to be harder than expected for me, because now my shoes were literally disintegrating below me. Soon there was nothing substantial left of the sole on the right shoe, and all I could do was tear off the scraps and walk home in just the upper part of the shoe. It was a strange experience, limping around in the NYC subway system. A fashion victim I was, I suppose. Oh yeah, the sole/soul jokes abounded.

So here I am, back in Finland, with a pair of unusable, ungodly creeper shoes, already repaired for 40 dollars, to no use. I wonder if there's a shoe repair shop specialized in restoring creeper shoes in Finland. I guess I could use some real magic now.
written by Mattias
I was hoping that I would get an update on these shoes, as you were so excited about your plans for them when you showed them to me in Brooklyn. I'm sorry to hear about their untimely demise. I think I have seen similar shoes in vintage stores here in Toronto. I will keep my eyes open for you and let you know if I come across anything. On a side note, you pretty much summed up Williamsburg perfectly. I think the going price for a studio flat in Williamsburg is around $1800/month, so I think most of the true hipsters have relocated to surrounding areas. However, they do seem to make the trek back at night.
posted by   Rob
sad but beautiful story
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The sum of 8 and 6