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The Shoes: New York

April 23, 2010

Drumroll, please…

And the WINNER of Christy’s Favorite Shoe In All of Saks Fifth Avenue’s Amazingly Gigantic Shoe Department Is

(Dramatic Pause)

These stunning Valentino Couture Slingbacks:

Gasp!  Applause!  Applause!

(Stilted smiles and stink-eye glances from all the Fendi, Prada and Jimmy Choo’s)

 Yes, it’s true; it’s all true, people.

Everything you’ve heard about the shoe department at Saks Fifth Avenue is completely true.

It’s big. 


And it’s filled with shoes, most of which wouldn’t even come close to fitting in with my minivan lifestyle.

But, I have to admit, like every other part of our New York adventure, the visit to 10022-Shoe was over-the-top fun.

And like every other part, I was determined to capture its goodness on film so I could remember it always.

And that’s when the 10022-Shoe drama began.

The journey to Saks Fifth Avenue began pleasantly enough.  

Tommy, Christy and I strolled down Fifth Avenue, arm-in-arm, noting all the other exclusive shops that line the street, one after another.

(Bless his heart–Tom volunteered to skip the Saks adventure to stand in line for theater tickets–

a task he did 4 times during our weekend).

A little background:  Tommy is a manager at Saks Fifth Avenue in Chicago.  He is everything you would imagine a manager at Saks Fifth Avenue to be: refined, polite and very good at choosing the perfect something you’re looking for. 

In other words: the ideal companion for Christy’s first trip to the mothership and 10022-Shoe.  I’m not exactly sure why I was invited along, what with my love of flats and flip-flops and all, but I was happy to join them for the afternoon. 

Tommy and Christy indulged me and waited patiently for me to photograph Saks’ storefront from several angles.

Before we went through the front doors, though, Tommy firmly, yet gently (as is his way) informed me that I would not be allowed to take a single photograph inside Saks.  He said even in his Chicago store, photography was strictly prohibited.  So, like the good person I am, I dutifully tucked my camera away in my purse.  I resigned myself to just looking around;  I’d just take it all in and write about it later.

Until I saw this:


An express elevator to a shoe department?!?  An elevator that only stopped on one floor, 10022-Shoe?!?  Seriously?!?  Like folks come into Saks and they are in such a hurry to get to the shoe department that they need to take an express elevator to the floor?

I could just picture it, the exquisitely-groomed woman carrying her bejeweled dog in his own Louis Vuitton carrier (I actually saw this) saying, “Excuse me!  Excuse me!!  Out of my way, I must get to the shoe department immediately!!  10022-Shoe and step on it! 

Oh, no.

There was no way I was going to pass up an opportunity to record that little detail on film.

I stealthily pulled my camera out of my bag. 

And that’s when I saw the look of shock and horror on Tommy’s face. 

No lie. 

 He sternly (yet politely) told me I Could. Not. Take. Pictures. In. Saks. Fifth. Avenue.

And then he made his crucial mistake; he turned his back.

See the two of them in the picture pretending like they don’t know the deranged woman breaking all the picture-taking rules?

Uh-huh.  That’s them.

Whatever. I got my picture.

We entered the elevator where I received a gentle, whispered reprimand from Tommy.

And that’s when I saw this sign:


Emboldened by my successful capturing of the outside of the elevator, I quickly prepared to take a shot of the poster which advertised the very shoe department that we were currently shooting straight up to.  (Because, really?  If you’re in the express elevator to the shoe department, why would you need a poster advertising the shoe department when that was the only place the elevator ever stopped?  I couldn’t help myself–I needed to take a picture of the ridiculousness!).

There happened to be a few other folks in the elevator with us.  I didn’t want to alarm them, so I announced my intention to take a picture of the poster. 
Needless-to-say, Tommy and Christy were appalled, they rolled their eyes and tried to distance themselves from me as much as one could in a small-ish express elevator zooming up to the shoe department).

I decided I needed to use my secret weapon: I pulled the “Wisconsin Card.”

I had discovered to my absolute delight how pulling the “Wisconsin Card” opened pretty much every door in New York City.  New Yorkers looove Wisconsin, for some unknown reason.  I’m pretty sure they think the whole state is just adorable.   I usually tell people I’m originally from Chicago, but I quickly discovered that “Chicago” did not work in New York.  Wisconsin did.  I told one woman I was from Wisconsin and she actually said, “Oh!  Wisconsin!  Is it really like how they show it on TV?”  I kid you not.  I’m not sure what TV show she was referring to, but I nodded and said Wisconsin is a lovely place to raise children (which is true). 

But, I digress. 

Like before, the “Wisconsin Card” worked like a charm in the elevator.  The people were more than happy to move away so I could take my picture, “Oh! Sure!  That’s what it’s that poster’s for, after all!”

 Vicki 2, Tommy 0.

When the doors swooshed open on 10022-Shoe, though, I knew it was time to put the camera away.  The whole place threw off a sacred-land vibe.  Clearly, cameras would not be allowed.  Plus, there were about 852 salespeople on the floor.  There’s no way I could have gotten away with a picture. 

Rest assured, though, it looks EXACTLY like the picture I put in this blog.

If I had been able to take pictures, though, I would have only taken a few.  You would have seen the $1600.00 bejeweled slingbacks (they looked like someone went crazy with a glue gun), the diamond-encrusted-bottom sandals (Seriously?  I’d have all that scraped off my first time out) and the looked-like-they-were-army-issued canvas and buckle, wooden-heeled numbers that retailed at $1200 (just plain ugly).  Tommy and Christy gave each and every shoe their full attention.  Some they picked up to admire.  Others just got a nod.   Some they agreed upon.  On others, they disagreed.  I pretty much just watched.  I did pick up the ones with all the jewels.  I’m pretty sure I could recreate them if I tried.  There was also a pair with feathers that I thought I could do.  I’m thinking it could be a nice little side business.

How long did wondering around the shoe department take, you’re wondering.  Well, put it this way:  we were only half-way through the department when Tom joined us.  In other words: hours. 

Before we left Saks, Tommy wanted to check out a floor that had been recently remodeled.  So we headed to Couture.  And yes, there was plenty on that floor that matched my minivan, too.  : )  I did manage to snap this picture of Christy.  Check out that chair!

And somehow, Tom convinced Christy to pose for a picture with this giant engagement ring table.  (Oh, sure!  Tom suggests a picture and now we’re all just jumping in front of the camera.)

In the end, Christy left without her beloved slingbacks.  But don’t worry: they carry them in the Chicago store.  I’m guessing someday Christy will own them.  Until then, she can have fun thinking of the perfect ensemble to wear with them.

 (No, not those outfits, silly!).



Red Valentino picture from here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Denise permalink
    April 23, 2010 1:55 pm

    Of course, Wisconsin is adorable….who wouldn’t like it. I think I would have had a lovely time standing in line with Tom:)

  2. Mom permalink
    April 23, 2010 7:48 pm

    We have had such fun this week reading your blogs about the trip. Now I know why Tom didn’t have a lot to tell me when he got home and called. It was because he spent the weekend waiting in line for the tickets to the plays you all saw. What a guy. And I can just imagine how embarassed Tommy was when you whipped out the camera inside Saks. Good thing he wasn’t wearing his store ID!

  3. sister friend permalink
    April 24, 2010 2:34 am

    that is the best blog ever! you totally captured it all girl! you make me laugh out loud! it was a good day indeed!

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