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.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Meanwhile while drifting  in East Hollywood in December …

Is it just me or is there always something incredibly melancholy and mysterious about seeing abandoned women’s shoes lying in the street, whether singly or in pairs? You assume there always has to be a story there, and depending on your taste in stories it may be incredibly banal – woman finally got fed up with her fancy shoes, found them too painful, decided to throw them away – and maybe she had a pair of sensible shoes with her.  Or maybe it's evidence of some noirish narrative – a chase through the night, escaping from real or imagined demons, shoes cast aside to increase mobility.

So what’s the story with these rather elegant, and as far as I could tell, perfectly serviceable black suede, high-heeled boots that had been carefully placed at the base of a tree?  A gift to the neighborhood?  They were certainly gone when I walked by again later in the day.

Of course it goes dark early in Hollywood these day.  When I first arrived here a decade or so ago it seemed that the neon of Hollywood was something very spectacular.  I seem to think there were organized bus tours.  Now I either don’t see it or the whole neon thing has dimmed.  Consider the Hollywood Downtowner Motel, which in neon form has become the Hollywood Downtowner Mo.  Is that a joke?

And just round the corner from there one of the apartment buildings has decided to make it a prehistoric Christmas.  I think this is just wonderful, while also being fairly glad that I don’t live in the building next door.

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