I checked out one of the only bespoke cobbling establishments in San Francisco yesterday. Located in Noe Valley, a woman named Suzanne and an older Italian gentlemen, Peter, run it. They are both active shoemakers, with a third guy on vacation. Suzanne has been practicing for about 15 years and Peter, coming into the trade in Italy when he was really young, due to a childhood foot injury, has been shoemaking for 50 or so years. I came to inquire about their personal experiences as shoemakers in the city, to ask them a shitload of nerdy questions, and to kind of fan out on seeing people actively pursuing a craft I have invested by myself in the past few years.
most of their clients are customers that rely on their unqiue craftsmanship to produce personalized orthopedic footwear. Bespoke, orthopedic footwear, as you can imagine is highly demanding. There are bunions to account for in the shapes of the shoes, short toes, longer toes, missing toes, different insteps, excess bone growth etc to consider when creating a pattern for the individuals specifications. Their wait time is four months.
Peter showed me his childhood last. This is his foot, in wood form, after his accident. I didn't ask him what happened, maybe I should have, but I just let him lead the conversation. He asked me if I had any experience making lasts, and I told him I didn't. But that I was aware of the process, which involves giant logging wherehouses, and widdling large pieces of wood down to human foot form, through a very particular, exacting, and traditional process. Lastmaking itself, is slowly becoming obsolete due to growing technology. Crucial lineages of lastmakers also slowly becoming obsolete as well I imagine, due to consumer unawareness and business profitting priorities.
overexposed close up. proof that i continually struggle with disposable cameras.
I stayed there for a while. They showed me their machines, the back room, it was rad. Suzanne started commenting on Obama's cabinet. We all agreed that Obama is amazing in that he's been able to crucially unify ideas and people with his personality and words. Though we find ourselves in an uncertain time, Obama's desire to reinvest in the human potential of this country is inspiring to most, shoemaker or not.
went to an amazing japanese ramen spot, chewy ass noodles, proper soup base choices: miso, salt, etc.. of course the bathroom had that owl from the tootsie roll commercial which was kind of confusing.
saw eugene on haight, had lunch at asqew fucking bomb ass grill. i love the cilantro lime, it's the closest thing to the now defunct basil pesto chicken.
typical sf random epicness. if i had to pick a house that most reminded me of the movie jumanji, not the dude, this would be it. but maybe both?
h&m guide to winning boys over. i saw a family of little spanish kids by the lingerie dummy, pulling it's underwear down and running away a bunch of times. their hands barely able to contain their overwhelming 8 year old amusement, and laughter. it was pretty awesome. i remember being that way, shy and obsessively curious at the same time, harnessing blooming sexuality. you're 8, who cares. it's funny. heart shaped underwear is laugheable.
ando at ftc. I had to take a picture of him with the insanely giant shell toe in the background. when i see something that big, a part of me wants to get in it and aggressively raft down the russian river.
me and chris went skating the other day.. who can't appreciate borderline pavement dance manuveurs
i'm practically standing next to him, head on taking this photo, which isn't an ideal angle if you want to sell boards.. good thing we're not selling anything, just mental frisbees. sorry chris, had to post these. they're just too disposable camera grimey not to..
There shouldn't be anything ironic about listening to Boyz II Men. Sure, they're not as cool as Sabbath or even T-Pain at the moment, and sure it's 2009 and hardly anybody will even admit to listening to R&b, but I have no qualms with my upbringing. When I was nine I had to move to Taiwan to live with my dad, and the only things I brought with me from San Francisco were recordings of my favorite radio station at the time, 99.7 KFRC, a legendary oldies station, and a Boyz II Men's "II" album. I am a HUUUUGEE fan. If I didn't impulsively go to the show last night, I would have never realized what a kooky fan out I can be. the only other group I'd ever fan out even harder would be TLC or SWV. Claudia and I were front stage the entire time, and I just about lost my cool throughout the whole show. I mean I was so fucking close I grazed Shawn's hand so many times pretending I couldn't reach as far as I could, to avoid being a creepy hand molestor. This photo was taken when a fan behind me passed him her camera and like the awesome entertainer he is, he took a photo of the crowd from stage. But it was cool, I got high fived like 80 times by every member of the current trio cause I was going fucking nuts, applying my typical out of hand dive bar fervor to the front of the stage. I locked eyes with these dudes so many times, but it was like one of those experiences where you think, "It would never work out, you're a pop star and I'm a lurker that everyone thinks is a dyke. These things never work out." They eventually threw out dozens of brilliant red roses during, "I'll make love to you," and we totally got handed roses! It was fucking so mindblowing, realizing the nostalgic rush of screaming all those lyrics with about 200 other Asian girls and one middle aged black guy in a Boyz II Men "Evolution" concert tee. One of the members, I think it was Nathan, eventually threw out his sweaty, used up, blue hand towel at him, and the photo above is a testament to ecstatic, devout, fan appreciation. All the members worked the crowd super well, played an all hits' set list "water runs dry", "on bended knee", "4 seasons" etc etc., and also included motown covers of sly and the family stone, the temptations, the four tops, and last but not least Motownphilly! I wish my digital camera didn't break a few days ago but it did so I had to resort to an incredibly flash flooding disposable camera that overexposed a lot of attempted pictures. Fortunately, I was able to use Claudia's digital camera and when I get those photos, I will be able to share rad ambiancy shots, as well as a photo of a group of Filipino? girls behind me that were going to fight with some other Asian girls that were pushing their way to the front. NEVER GET IN FRONT OF AN ASIAN GIRL AT A BOYZ II MEN SHOW, OR SUFFER A CATTY PUBLIC CALL OUT. ( EVEN IF YOU ARE ANOTHER ASIAN GIRL). THEY WILL LOUDLY ACCUSE YOU OF CUTTING THEM AND PURSUE TO TRY TO BEAT YOU AND YOUR FRIEND'S ASS IN TRUE BAY AREA HIGH SCHOOL GANG FORMATION.
TOOTH BRUSH HAIRDYING
I dyed my mom's hair and made a fashionable hat for her out of a styrafoam bowl.