I need new shoes.
The family declines to come so I linger a little.
The FEBO the corner of the Vismarkt is cordoned off to be rebuilt into something else
It's not even that long since they moved from the Grote Markt
Being bad at streets, I navigate by shops instead.
Over lunch at work we talked about the La Place café that was briefly lodged upstairs,
In the shop opposite where the Free Record Shop was,
Next to Scholtens Wristers (later
renamed as Selexyz before it closed).
The city is a palimpsest.
There's a Burger King there now.
De Schoenenfabriek on the Akerhof has nothing
even remotely to my taste
But rather than slinking back to Ziengs
I venture down the Horrible(Heren)straat,
where Men at Work is also a washout
Van Lier shows promise;
and the mevrouw concedes without undue enthusiasm
they may have something in my size.
(The shop is deep and narrow; the store room is upstairs,
And her knees may have outgrown eagerness.)
Informing me, in unnecessary English, that my second choice is available,
She promptly corrects herself back to Dutch.
I am briefed: that they pinch around the toe
is expected, even desirable - the soft calf's leather
Will soon mould itself to the wearer's foot;
The colour is best preserved with clear polish
And a spare pair of laces is included as a gift.
Before collecting my bike I call in at Godert Walter
To consider Menno Wigman's latest bundel.
Another time for sure;
for now I make do with a TLS from The Read Shop [sic]
And a glimpse of the towering mostly-finished Student Hotel
[sic, come on guys!] on the Boteringestraat.