I love spring in New York City. As a child growing up in the San Fernando Valley I never had the opportunity to witness the absolute stunning beauty of the first yellow tulip after six months of freezing gray. But now? For the rest of my life, when I see yellow tulips I will remember the City in spring. But there is something else that comes with the creep of spring, there is a darker side. Something sticky and grisly and black as oil. That something is Dirty Feet.
Our first spring in the City I documented the phenomenon on my Flickr site. Over the next two-plus-years a photo of my dirty feet received 4,312 unique views.
That is ridiculous. My dirty little feet have gotten more clicks than any post I’ve ever written ever. Apparently there are a lot more of you interested in how dirty my feet are then how cute my dogs are.
The thing is, I do not like being dirty. There is a funny family story that my sister likes to tell about the first time she took me to the beach when I was eight months old. I’d been lathered in sun block and made to wear a hat and sit under an umbrella and I’d taken it all like a champ. I giggled and cooed and waved my shiny red shovel and then the wind blew and five or six grains of sand were swept up onto the blanket six inches from my knee. And I began to scream. And scream. My sister leapt up, shook the blanket, put it back down, and still I screamed. She offered me water, a new toy, something to eat, was my hat too tight? Was there sand in my eye? No, no, I was fine, perfectly fine, but there was sand on the towel and I do not like to be dirty.
Perhaps you can understand how horrifying it was when I took off my shoes last night and found their outlines traced along my foot in grisly black grime. It was so horrible, so awfully terribly horrible, I almost cried.
This is a first-world problem, I know. I realize that if having dirty feet is the worst thing that happens to me in a day, I’ve had a pretty damn good day. But it’s that time of the month when socks on the floor and a glass on the table make me froth at the mouth, so you can imagine my reaction when I realized that even the pumice wasn’t scraping the black grit out from underneath my skin cells.
But then, there’s this …
And these …
And can you believe how beautiful this is?
New York in spring. Holy shit. I will miss the City when we move.