December 3, 2016 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on December 2, 2017

I’m propped up in the hotel bed, not at a desk, after a pretty rough night with sore feet, multiple, repeated leg cramps, and a slight headache. The last is probably due to not sleeping well, recirculated and dehydrated (and dehydrating) room air (no venting windows, of course), and perhaps that final glass of wine was superfluous, utterly greedily unnecessary. The former, though, are due to my shoes. It’s always about the goddamn shoes.

I managed to find one pair of reasonably acceptable-to-me shoes at Macy’s on the drive in. Once I checked into the hotel, I went everywhere in the shopping area that covers Berkeley to Prudential Center between Boylston and Newbury Streets, crisscrossing hither and yon, and finding nothing. Like, nothing. I walked these pavement expanses wearing my old brown Bjorn shoes, which I took in case I should find nothing, but which really weren’t suitable at all for the two outfits I packed: LBD and/or pants. After over an hour I came back and decided to wear the brand-new high-heeled booties I got at Macy’s after all.

Dressed up, dolled up, and off we went, me in new shoes, heels at that. Barely rounding the hotel block, I thought, “Uh-oh, this is going to be interesting.” I was pounding on the balls of my feet (zero cushioning in said booties), and we were walking to the Pru. By the time I got there, I was already feeling it. We stayed probably about four hours, sitting down for only a small part of the time. We danced! And we walked back to the hotel. OMG. The shoes are actually not bad if I don’t walk much in them – and if I were used to heels. (Being suddenly nearly six feet tall was fun, though.) But the combination of walking there + back, standing + walking most of the time at the venue, dancing – well, leg cramps and burning soles ensued.

The event was actually fun. The venue was simple, but stunning due to the view. We were in (or on) the Skywalk, 50th floor, with cardinal views all around: E, S, W, N. The night was clear, so, although it was dark, those areas which were lit were very visible. Interesting to see how urban planning has shaped the neighborhoods, not necessarily for the best. I can’t remember in which direction we looked at one point–it might have been East?–but it was basically looking back toward our hotel, so Boylston is running straight up on the left, and it’s a vivid commercial district, and not too far to the right are vast areas, blocks and blocks, filled only with barely lit streets and homes (probably 3-4 story buildings). These were obviously residential-only areas, and they seemed too quiet, too …bereft. No mixing. I had to think of how this sort of segregation of uses would be unheard of in Vancouver’s West End, where residential and commercial is thoroughly interleavened and mixed together. In North American cities generally, though, it’s still all segregated: residential-only, Central Business District, Arts District, Retail, etc.

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