I confess I've never felt a total and complete camaraderie with my fellow females. Not that I don't have a lack of estrogen (my husband can attest to my occasional mood swings, and I do highlight the word "occasional") and I did spend a girly childhood filled with Barbies and My Little Ponies and Playing Kitchen and Dress Up (and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, too, but even they could be considered dolls...) But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't muster up the unquenchable fettish for shoes or accessories that my friends all had. Even my husband owns more shoes than I do.
But in a matter of a month, I suddenly find myself mystified by a new hunger for them. I have no idea what finally launched me into the final stage of my girlhood, but I'm officially jealous of women who can perfectly coordinate accessories and shoes. I now walk down the street and admire the way a funky heel makes the outfit, the way a necklace balances out the colors of the scheme, the way a fat belt cinches together a drapy shirt. Of course, this apparent shoe and accessory phase didn't exactly turn up at the right time, living in London and trying to survive on the most meager means possible. Which may be why they're so attractive...
So on Saturday when our friend suggested we breakfast in Covent Garden and go shoe shopping (trainer shopping, to be more specific) I was giddy with excitement. Turned out we spent the entire day wandering around the quaint shoe shops near Neal's Yard, in awe of the variety of heels and crocs and trainers and birks. After breakfast we stopped for a basil, mozzarella, pesto, tomato panini and a sparkling Perrier, met up with some friends, and finally, after all the fanfare, I bought a pair of shoes. Nothing too expensive, just a nice addition to my wardrobe. Still, the day wasn't over. We met up with another friend at Leicester Square and ate at a Mexican restaurant, and I had my first margarita since I moved here from the US. It was amazing. Then our friends went for ice cream, and we sat outside on the patio people-watching and talking until we decided to check out a nearby club called the Rex. Highly recommend this place. We went early enough that we didn't have to pay a cover charge, and inside it was surprisingly small. Imagine velvet drapes, chandeliers, victorian chaise lounges and sofas, candle lighting, mirrors--and salsa dancing. Finally, after weeks of looking for a place with salsa music, we found it completely by accident. I'm sad that our American friends who came in March and love latin music couldn't be with us, but I thought of them.
So, anyone who's been wanting to fly to London: what better reason do you have than to go shoe shopping and salsa dancing? I've got the perfect places to take you.