Thursday, October 13, 2005

Shoe/Shine

Ben and I drove down to Pilsen (ish) because we’d heard about this shoe repair place/hangout that sounded worth the trip, and it was as promised. (Seeming to be named, according to the sign, simply Shoe/Shine. I’m all about the slash marks as you know, so I already know this is my kind of repair shop.) This is the kind of place that makes me happy to be alive, that restores my faith in humanity, that is so far out of the way it’s almost silly, if you actually need something repaired. It’s totally cluttered, with music and the TV playing at the same time, a sofa in front of the TV while you wait, a row of antique typewriters on a high shelf, and makings of some sort of dinner on the counter along with spices on the shelf behind it right next to the shoe polish. We’d heard that if he happens to be cooking while you’re there he’ll offer it up, but he wasn’t that day. Best of all though was how warm and friendly this guy was – he was telling us about his kids going to college within minutes after we walked in the door. Ben brought something in to be repaired and he was like, Five bucks, is that too much? It’s the kind of place where watching snowy reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all.

2 comments:

B said...

That sounds like the shoe store back in Wisconsin. When you walk in it always smelled of other people feet(sorta like a bowling alley), shoe polish, coffee, and cigar. But the place looked amazing. He collected old oil cans(like the one from the wizard of oz). Though, it did not have a slash in the name, he was one hell of a heel fixerupper!

Anonymous said...

charming story but is there an address or phone number for this place? Can't find a listing for shoe/shine in chicago...

thanks!