06 October 2010
A rivalry imagined rather than experienced. Both cities occupy top billing in the 'pop' culture and both are known for attracting social-climbers, provincials, rubes, frauds, and aspiring sharks.
But there is an important difference that immediately distinguishes itself to those interested in details of style.
The latest issue of The Rake (Issue 11 Volume 5) contains a brief article on my favourite bespoke shoe maker, Cleverley, in which is repeated the old saying:
How do you tell the difference between a man from NYC and a fellow from LA?
The New Yorker has laces in his shoes.
How amusing. Although it is true I am not from LA and have actually lived in both this area and NYC for an equal number of years, I am close enough to LA today to feel an obligation to respond to this jibe.
Is there some truth in it? Yes, I think so. Certainly in my business and social dealings here in Southern California I notice that most of the other chaps wear loafers and other slip-on shoes.
And when I analyse my own collection, the numbers indicate that currently 67% of my shoes are of the slip-on variety. This number is set to increase, as I gradually replace my older oxfords and brogues with newly-acquired bespoke and MTO slip-on shoes.
Do you prefer loafers and slip-ons? If so, say it loud and proud!
After all, the New Yorker, living in the dangerous crime-infested environment for which his city is famous, has a very good reason to stick to laces.
The laces deter urban street thugs from stealing his shoes.