We arrived in Brooklyn in August 2017, after taking ten days to drive across the country (more on that another day). After getting settled in our sublet, we dove in to our new city. First big change: walking. In Seattle, we rarely walked to and from places. Seattle isn’t as set up for only driving in the way that the Southwest is, but it’s certainly not dense enough in most places to go carless with ease. In NY, we walked everywhere. To the store, to the park, to the library, to the subway or bus to walk some where else. In the heat and humidity of August, shoes, outfits and the comfort of both while walking everywhere were now paramount. My old, stretched out, slip-on Vans felt permanently clammy on the inside, so I knew it was time for a new pair. But buying a brand new pair of canvas Vans in summer and trying to break them in with my hot, swollen feet wasn’t working. The shoes I wore daily, rain or shine in Seattle, were not working in August in New York. I took a note from the ladies I saw around the neighborhood and bought my first pair of Birkenstocks.

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