A tale of two cities….

3 1/2 hours train ride and a world apart…
Well, I have switched geographical locations since we last chatted….I now log onto Blogger from Zurich.
I am actually amazed at how completely different two cities can be when they are soooo close to each other.
I mean, in this day and age, almost four hours of distance is nothing.
Yet the personalities of the both cities are totally and utterly different.

For example, in Paris there is this vibe of creative energy. There is this “craziness” about the city.
In Zurich, there are plenty of galleries and museums but none of them feel fresh and “open”…everything here has a very buttoned up air to it. Everything is very “perfect”…which is also nice too…too much chaos is not good for anyone.
Now, if you’re in the market for a million dollar piece of art, you definitely go to Zurich.  But I want to see the raw talent that is exuded in most other big cities…the art that is displayed by graffiti artists, street painters, three piece jazz ensemble in the subway station and the fashion….yes, the fashion in Paris is a piece of art…and in Zurich…well, let’s just say the fashion here is a piece of fabric.

My main point of reference has been women’s shoes….oh boy!

In Paris, the women walk in high heels….and they do it on the lopsided cobblestone sidewalks that cover all of Paris.
These Parisian women use the streets of Paris as their catwalk and they will run you over in their Manolos should you get in their way. You would think their Louboutins had NIKE AIR technology at the speed they climb the metro stairs.
They don’t ever complain, they don’t ever look like their struggling to walk in their mile high stilts and they most definitely never look librarian-ish (no offense to any hot librarians out there that despite the stereotype walk into the marble floor halls of a library in high heels).
The Parisian women are able to capture that “je n’ai se quoi” that the rest of the world is desperately trying to locate.

They, in so many words, are my “Sole” sisters….
They get “it” and by “it” I mean….beauty is pain.

For me, there is nothing more feminine and beautiful than a pair of black patent stilettos and a woman walking in them like she owns the place or the city for that matter.
I love the empowerment that one gets from wearing a fabulous pair of heels…the seemingly impossible task of walking on an incline becomes completely graceful for those that have mastered it.
And…I have a feeling that these Parisian women whom I admire so much…they walk in heels not for anyone but themselves.
It’s part of their right of being a woman in Paris.
It’s actually a right that all women have….but in the case of the Zurich women…perhaps the message has been lost in translation.

In Zurich, you will a lot of very well dressed people rushing to and from an office then to lunch then back to the office and then to the train to go home.
Among these well dressed  people, you will find the women of Zurich.
They’ve got their whole look in a manual somewhere I swear…they all dress the same.
First off, it’s always a black or navy blue suit consisting of a  white shirt, dress pants and a blazer.
Nothing flashy…let alone dangling earrings.
And the shoes…usually extremely pointy or squared toe SHORT heeled shoes.
I never understood the point of wearing small heels…either you were heels or you wear sneakers…take a pick.
I would be more supportive of cute ballet flats.
It’s like that car/truck thing that was out in the 80’s (El Camino)…ewwww.

The heels worn in Zurich can’t be more than an inch…which only adds to the whole masculine look…which might be okay, but do it Yves Saint Laurent style and make people’s heads turn.
The women walk the streets of Zurich in their pants and small heeled shoes; heading quickly from one point to the other. Heels would only slow them down…and that’s just not logical ;)

Obviously a lot has to do with the Swiss culture…the Swiss are very good thinkers and they’re great at finding solutions to problems.
Instead of going up the mountain, why not build a tunnel through it?
Why wear skirts when pants are easier?
Why have color in the wardrobe when two colors makes getting dressed so much faster?
Instead of high heels, why not just have shoes with a little heel?
But in their simplification and solution to this “problem” did they lose the sexiness that often comes with being a woman (anyone else get that Shania Twain song in their head just now?).

Or….here’s a thought…maybe I’m wrong.
Maybe the Swiss women have it right.
I mean, they’ll never have the problems that us high heeled women will have down the road.
No bunions later on in life.
No lower back problems.
No grinning and bearing it while you walk three blocks in six inch heels.
And who knows….maybe those one inch heels look great in the bedroom…..on second thought….
Probably not.

But I will credit where credit is due….I have seen SOME women here in Zurich absolutely killing it.
They showed great fashion sense, fabulous shoes and personality in their accesories…so not everyone is alike.
There are some “fashion leaders” walking the streets of Zurich…I just wish there were more of them.

So women in Zurich, might I suggest:
A little more fun, a little less serious.
A little more color, a little less black.
A little more smiles (best accessory ever!), a little less stern.
A little more “crazy”, a little less sensible.
And definitely….a little more heel ;)

And finally, a toast to all the fabulous ladies out there that endure the pain of wearing these modern day torture devices on our feet…in the name of fashion but above all, in the name of feminism.

Sexy is as sexy does…and nothing does it better than high heeled shoes!




  1. Anonymous
    June 14, 2010 / 6:17 pm

    Hi martha, dont you have any hobbies?! how about work?!

  2. June 15, 2010 / 8:06 am

    I do have hobbies…thanks for asking :)
    Writing my observations is a hobby that I love.
    And work…definitely!
    Everyone works…what they do is different, but everyone works.
    I sense your sarcasm in your message…that’s okay…

  3. June 3, 2011 / 11:56 am

    LOL. Anonymous..I work, but who wants to read a blog about that? If your looking for a ” How I pay my bills blog” you might need to get out more.