Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


And so, on New Year’s Day - the first walk of the new year.  No need to get too intrepid about it – an hour and a half up and down the Hollywood Hills, including the wonderfully named Tuxedo Terrace, sun shining, the spirit of Christmas fading away slowly but surely.  The Santa Claus on top of the lamp post had already gone, but the Peanuts gang were still in situ, alongside a very stylish mail box.

Elsewhere the party was more definitely over, and I know it’s never easy to get rid of a big old Christmas tree, and these people have at least put a small amount of thought into what to do with theirs. Cutting off the branches is certainly a start, but not the complete solution, I’m thinking.

And to show that some kind of party, must have ended in some kind of chaos, here, carefully placed atop some kind of fire hydrant, was a woman’s single shoe, sort of elegant (red suede), sort of clunky (a cork platform).

 I always think there’s something infinitely melancholy about a single shoe lying in the street.  You can think of various reasons for losing a shoe – it dropped out of your bag, both shoes simply hurt too much, and you took them off and carried on walking barefoot, but it was night and you dropped one of them and  it slid down the hill and you couldn’t find it in the dark, or maybe something genuinely Dionysian took place, shoes, clothes, inhibitions, everything was tossed into the winds and the next day only a shoe remained. 

And maybe somebody is saying to themselves right now, “I wonder what happened to that red suede platform shoes of mine, I know I was wearing it at the party.”   Better get down there quick.  One way or another, I’m guessing it won’t stay on top of that hydrant for very long.

And finally (above) a couple of girls from the past who are walking into the future, via treadmill, wearing the correct number of shoes, which actually look like tap shoes to me.  You wouldn't want to lose one of them.

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