i spent the day looking for a pair of medium brown shoes, preferably a plain wingtip. first i went to barneys, then saks, then faconnable, then neiman marcus. they all had the same styles. nothing really spoke to me except for some "calzolaria harris" shoes at barneys. they were too dark though, and at $550, beyond my price limit. let me say that i've decided i don't like the faux patina or faux antique look. these shoes look cool to me on the internet, but in person the look is cheesy, phony, and the antiquing makes the leather look cheap and usually too shiny. this applies to every brand from prada to john lobb. i then went to the camper store on robertson, the john varvatos store on melrose, and the ted baker store on robertson. everything was overly stylized. as a side note, while exiting the ted baker store, a family of tourists walked in and mistook me for a store employee. at first i was a bit offended, but then i thought, everyone who works there is young, stylish, and good-looking, so maybe it's not such an insult. then i tried a store on melrose called "gemelli". i asked the salesman if the shoes were goodyear welted, blake stitched, or what. after examining the shoe for a few seconds, he proclaimed, "it is the best kind of stitching ever." i went to the paul smith store, also on melrose, and everything was too fashiony. the shoes cost between $380 and $450, and are made in india. the whole store has an 'india as british colony' vibe to it, but with a lot of pink. i'll be calling ron rider on monday.