So, This Canadian Walks into a Ginormous City…

Crocs sold at a store.

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The ToolMaster and I lay around one evening last week, detailing our physical complaints. There was me with my palpitating heart and my plantar fasciitis — a painful and frustrating foot condition which requires me to wear Crocs. Everywhere. All the time. It also limits my walking, and since that’s my preferred form of physical activity, this is a problem. But did I mention the Crocs?

At the same time, he was moaning from a prolonged session at the dentist getting a crown replaced, and coughing from a cold. We looked at one another and in one of those defining we’re-together-no-matter-what moments in a marriage, made a resolution: As long as our dinner conversation didn’t include things like, “Guess what kids? Gramma had a poo today,” or “Yay, Grampa shaved his back,” we had it made. Then we laughed and moved on to more important things.

What would be those more important things, you ask? Well in his case, it’s the layout of the ceiling tiles in the basement. These things are as important to him as comma placement might be for a writer, so I don’t judge him. Much. I’m also little more help than a coin flip would be in such matters, but he chooses to think otherwise, which is another reason we work as a couple.

In my case, “more important things” mean how I’m going to look pseudo-elegant in New York when I’m wearing my Crocs.

Yes, peeps, I’m going to RWA Nationals after hemming and hawing for the past…nine months. Because of that hemming and hawing, I’ll be at the overflow motel, which means walking, which means Crocs.


I’m willing to acknowledge I will never carry off “cool”, “elegant” or “reedy.” I’d joyfully settle for mildly sloppy. But Crocs?

Anyway, I will be in and around Times Square in late June and I am a complete newbie to that city. If you have been, can you recommend touristy places to go? Can you specify if they require a great deal of walking or little? (I’m resolutely optimistic that this heel will heal, if it knows what’s good for it, by then. *shakes fist*) I have a few days and a friend who says she’ll be complicit in the sightseeing, so I want to explore.

Please keep in mind that I am not a shopper. When I went to DC two years ago, I LOVED the open-air bus as an intro to the city, then I LOVED walking around the Mall and Arlington Cemetery. I was very sorry I hadn’t given myself enough time for the Newseum, and the Spy Museum, and the Smithsonian, and the Holocaust Museum. In other words, I’m a geek. Please don’t recommend the fashion places because I don’t heart them, and if I’m wearing Crocs, they most certainly won’t heart me.

Also, I can handle only twenty sneers a day.

But aside from the walking, and the sneer-avoiding, and my general shyness, I’m ready to take on New York with fire and zest and…this cursed Canadian politeness. So, if you were me, where would you go?

37 thoughts on “So, This Canadian Walks into a Ginormous City…

  1. There are Crocs that look like nicer shoes. I wore them at the last conference… because of my plantar fasciitis and also because of my complete inability to wear most shoes due to my feet being shaped like a duck’s. I don’t think anyone noticed, anyway.

    1. Really, Eliza? I don’t know if you’ve been to Nationals, but right about now the comments about manicures/pedicures/fake tans, etc. begin to fly. It’s very fashion-centric. On the other hand, I could get a doctor’s note to be the exemption…

      Srsly, I will go see what they offer that will accommodate my feet. Thanks for the input.

  2. Jan, the hop on/hop off bus looks interesting with many stops, including times square. you can get off the bus or stay on for the whole thing.
    when I was there last I did a 2 hour boat tour that goes up the Hudson River past the Statue of Liberty then turns down the East River and goes under the Brooklyn Bridge. It was lovely and the guide talked the whole time which made it entertaining and informative. Of course there’s also a broadway show and if you like Harry Potter there’s an exhibitiuon in Times Square at that time.

  3. I shall be a fashion victim with you, Jan. My right foot did something dreadful the last time we were in Disney, so I get it, totally.
    Becky, always happy to be complicit

  4. I loved riding the subways. Do all the touristy things you want, but I could spend all day riding the subways and watching the people. 😉

    You must, must, MUST go to the NYC Public Library. It is an experience.

    I’m sorry you can’t walk much, because one day while I was just wandering, I came upon the coolest open air market that took up a wide alley just like it had materialized out of nowhere.

    Since you can’t walk, get to Central Park and buy a buggy ride. That way you can see things nice and slow.

    And just have fun. It’s impossible to see everything there in just one trip.

  5. I’ll email you some ideas. Also, if you have any free time, I’d love to meet up for a drink or coffee or just to say hello.:)

  6. People watching. Sit on the steps of the public library on Fifth Avenue and watch people. If you’re into architecture, I believe they have architectural walking tours available.

    Have you ever tried Merrell clogs? I wear them all day long. Very comfy and they have several different styles available. Not sure if Zappo’s ships to Canada but they do carry them on their website…also Nordstrom.

  7. I’ve always interpreted ‘no shoes, no shirt, no service’ as a place that has poorly dressed and rather surly staff. If they can go barefoot, bare chested and then ignore customers to boot…

    Seriously, these days more and more people are opting for comfort over fashion. At the risk of ending my acting/speaking career (IT’s COMING, it’s coming; I’m just paying my dues!) I’ll admit that I adore ‘Crocs.’ When I can find ones that fit. It seems the different colors–at least where I shop–fit ever so slightly different(ly?) The most important thing is your ‘tude, dude. (dudette.)

    Wherever you go, walk with confidence; much easier in comfy shoes, BTW. Yes, some snobs will sneer at your feet. Just smile and nod as you remind yourself of their smelly bunions and pinched toes. The occasional smirk may even be in order in the more genteel parts of town.

    1. Phyllis, I’m teasing a bit about sneers while wandering. It’s the conference itself I’m more worried about. Don’t think I’ll get away with wearing a skirt or dress, even for the award ceremony, if I’m wearing Crocs. 🙁 But I will attempt to take your advice about the ‘tude to heart.

  8. Jan – I don’t remember looking at your feet when you were at the workshop on Saturday. If you had looked at my feet, you would have seen Merrell hiking shoes. As Rita dress? I don’t know. When I went in 2008, I bought this pretty flats, but they turned out to be quite uncomfortable. Next time, I’m going for Birkenstocks. They come in “dress” now. You can still tell they are Birks, but hey, mega comfortable. And I was thinking of a sari to go with them.

    1. LOL, a sari would be cool. 🙂

      No, I didn’ have my Crocs on this weekend, which is why I know I’m stuck with them. I wore my dress shoes — bought for comfort– and sat most of the day. They still weren’t sufficient.

  9. Oh, I wish I was going just so I could see you! No one will be looking at your footwear — everyone will be too excited to meet you!

  10. Jan,

    I wish I could go. I would wear my crocs in solidarity.

    And, I wish I’d been to New York enough times to offer some good places to visit. I don’t doubt you’ll have a wonderful time, no matter what you do. I’m so excited for you, and I can’t wait to hear about it when you return home!

  11. Jan, I’m glad you’re going, and wish I would be there to meet you, but unless I capture a leprechaun and force him to show me the gold. . .

    Anyway, NYC is a fascinating place. Everyone walks everywhere (and they walk FAST — they don’t like when you dawdle! LOL) There is plenty to enchant a person no matter what their interests. I love looking at the window displays and listening to the people hawking their wares on the street. There’s great food to be had in all kinds of places. It’s a big bustling place with an amazing energy. Dang. Now I wish I was going. LOL

    1. Oh, dang, sorry I awoke the longing in you, Donna. Would very much have liked to meet you in person. Maybe next year? (Of course, it’ll take me another 9 months to decide if I’m attending that one, too. ) 🙂

  12. First, I’m super excited for you that you are going! Then, on to our feet — have you tried Dansko shoes? They are awesome. Other than that, have you tried a molded insert to raise your arch (if that would help)? That — and the Danskos — work for me. But, if all else fails, wear the Crocs because your smile (without foot pain) will dazzle everyone so that they won’t spare a glance for your shoes.

    1. Lisa, no, I’ve never heard of them. I just looked them up and we have a dealer in my city and they appear to have shoes in my size. Women’s shoes. This is undheard of. Are they comfortable?

      I may have to resort to orthotic. I’m definitely keeping that in mind. Man, I’ve never had foot problems in my life. Feeling really resentful about this. 😉

      1. Danskos are very comfortable, worth the price and will support your feet all day. They are one of the shoes nurses and teachers often choose. I have orthotics that I just wear at home in clog-type slippers. Then I wear the Danskos or sneakers out — and flip flops in the summer of course! I used to have bad foot pain, but it’s gone now. The orthotics helped a lot, even just wearing them in a limited way. Good luck!

  13. My favorite places in NYC are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum and for the pure love of book: the Strand. There is a place on the upper west side called “Good Enough to Eat” that has awesome food (like someone’s grandmother makes) and pies. And it is so casual and relaxed that no one would bat an eye at a pair of crocs. For reals. Also, Little Italy! So much fun. You will have a great time 🙂

  14. You know what? Crocs are awesome. I do a ton of walking. Miles at a time. And I have yet to find anything where I can walk as much and have my feet still feel relatively happy at the end of, say, a nine mile jaunt.

    And yes, there are some that don’t look quite so…Croc-y. I am partial to these…. Not quite as amazingly comfortable as the basic clogs, but almost.

    Merrill’s are great too. But for foot problems, it’s hard to find something that beats Crocs.

      1. If you have a chance to visit one of their stores, Jan, you can find all kinds of styles and something that will work for you. I don’t know if there’s a store in NYC — we have one here in Santa Monica.

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