DC Men's Shoes For Clowns and Elves, Not Men
A very kind, smart, attractive young woman I know tookgrave exception with my denunciation of those medallion shoes all the District's WASPy women seem to fancy. While willing to admit that perhaps they were, indeed, crap shoes, she was angry that I'd not leveled a similar attack on the preferred footwear of DC men. I'd never particularly noticed the footwear of DC men, but she was right!
I dare you to start looking down in the Metro instead of at the worried faces of all the other suckers. If you're able to avoid getting shoved onto the tracks by someone who would rather see you dead than be late to their Meeting, you will notice that most of the men's shoes in Washington, DC, look like what Frankenstein would wear if he were a metrosexual. They're so square, like leather Kleenex boxes, and for whatever reason they've all got about a million panels of leather stacked on top of one another. Why so many panels, dudes?
It is very weird. But even weirder are the Brits and Frenchmen and Persians who come here to go to SAIS because their countries don't have big enough boners for unchecked capitalism. Those guys all wear those ultra-pointy/elfish warlock boots, and they exclusively drink white wine or Chimay while saying stuff like, "I just don't get American football." What's to get, Xavier? It's guys with pituitary disorders wearing low-rent body armor and smashing into each other, for the masses to get drunk and scream at. It is ... fun?
I honestly don't give a shit what kind of shoes you wear. (Unless they're platform flip-flops. Those need to die.) The scientific reason many men in Washington have such an abundance of ugly clown shoes is because they're smart enough not to put a lot of thought into what they wear beyond "are these comfortable enough to walk in?" We should probably all agree, however, that a blind reverence for comfort and convenience leads to the sort of slow societal decline nobody wants to see: Snuggies and Rascal scooters and terrible chain-restaurant architecture.
L'Enfant was a bit of a badass, but ever since he left/died it seems as if the architectural MO of DC is "whatever fits a bunch of folks and don't fall over so easy." Boring vittles are everywhere, disguised with words like "panini" and "chevre." Bars play the same damn Fergie music nonstop, and part of her act is to urinate in her pants onstage! It all sucks, but it's also inescapable because it's convenient, practical and easy.
On top of all this, it's a bit sad to see how much effort ladies in Washington put into impressing guys in Washington, who appear to be wildly averse to exerting any effort that won't lead to an office promotion. All the women are in their tidy, sunlit apartments, shining the medallions on their shoes, while all the dudes are devouring Fart Magic (19 Bud Lights and a "Jumbo Slice"), complaining about walking down stairs, and picking at razor bumps on their neck while riding on the bus (I have seen this).
Simple solution: Get some Chucks for the weekend and some desert boots for the weekdays, then get out of the way. Also, compliment your girlfriend's medallion shoes once in awhile, even though they are not cool.