Barefoot in the park / Descalzo en el parque

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I ALWAYS THOUGHT IT WAS unhealthy and dangerous to run barefoot on pavement. There are some obvious reasons: You might step on something like a small piece of glass; you’re sure to step in the remnants of dog crap that didn’t get completely cleaned away; and who knows what some partier left behind (brought up) after a long night out. Another reason: I assumed it was too hard on your feet and joints. But I see a guy regularly running barefoot on the Paseo and he looks happy and disgustingly healthy.

So, I went online and I checked with one of my favorite authoritative resources, The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. And, although, they talk about barefoot running shoes (thin, lightweight, often with separated toes) to protect your feet from things like dog crap (my words, not theirs), Mayo says barefoot running can be healthy, and even therapeutic. Obviously, you shouldn’t simply assume it’s safe for you.

A number of our chiringuitos (beach bars) are being renovated or completely rebuilt. I’ve been taking pictures of their progress and will share some photos when they reopen. One is right across the street (and we look so forward to the end of the hammering, and sawing, and drilling). I pass another regularly about 20 minutes away next to one of the two jetties along our shore. I walked out on the jetty and could finally get far enough away to not here all the pounding and the power tools. But when I looked back, I noticed a guy on a chaise lounge right next to the construction site. ‘How could he possibly tolerate it?’ I wondered. He was perhaps 10 feet away from someone with a power saw. When I left the jetty to head back to the Paseo, I got a closer look. Not only could he stand it. He was sound asleep. The construction noise stopped momentarily and I heard him snoring (it sounded like he was sawing logs — or snoring logs, as San Geraldo would say).

We went to Mesón Salvador for dinner last night. Not only did we have another exceptional meal, but we got to see Adrian, Angel, and our pal Sergio. It made an exhausting day of business dealings so much sweeter. My glass of Zumbral (Málaga wine, aka vino dulce) and our shared slice of mango cheese cake fresh-baked by Chef David didn’t hurt. That was better than anything we could have imagined. The man is a genius.

Dudo loves joining me in bed at the beginning of the night. I talk to him while I pet him. When Moose hears conversation of any kind, he comes running. He heard San Geraldo was on the phone yesterday evening and sat at his feet yowling until I dragged him away. So, when Moose hears me talking to Dudo, he comes running and joins us. Sometimes, Dudo doesn’t mind. Other times, Dudo grumbles and immediately leaves. And still other times, they cuddle. Last night was not any of those times, as you can see from today’s final two photos.


SIEMPRE PENSÉ QUE NO ERA saludable y era peligroso correr descalzo sobre el pavimento. Hay algunas razones obvias: puede pisar algo como un pequeño trozo de vidrio; está seguro de pisar los restos de mierda de perro que no se limpiaron por completo; y quién sabe qué dejó algún fiestero después de una larga noche de fiesta. Otra razón: asumí que era demasiado duro para los pies y las articulaciones. Pero veo a un tipo que corre descalzo regularmente por el Paseo y se ve feliz y asquerosamente saludable.

Entonces, me conecté a Internet y consulté con uno de mis recursos autorizados favoritos, la Clínica Mayo en Rochester, Minnesota. Y, aunque hablan de zapatos para correr descalzos (delgados, livianos, a menudo con dedos separados) para proteger sus pies de cosas como la mierda de perro (mis palabras, no las de ellos), Mayo dice que correr descalzo puede ser saludable e incluso terapéutico. Obviamente, no debe asumir simplemente que es seguro para usted.

Varios de nuestros chiringuitos están siendo renovados o reconstruidos por completo. He estado tomando fotografías de su progreso y compartiré algunas cuando vuelvan a abrir. Uno está justo al otro lado de la calle (y esperamos con ansias el final del martilleo, el aserrado, y la perforación). Paso otro regularmente a unos 20 minutos junto a uno de los dos embarcaderos a lo largo de nuestra orilla. Salí al embarcadero y finalmente pude alejarme lo suficiente como para no estar aquí todos los golpes y las herramientas eléctricas. Pero cuando miré hacia atrás, vi a un tipo en una tumbona junto al sitio de construcción. “¿Cómo podría tolerarlo?”, Me pregunté. Quizás estaba a 10 pies de distancia de alguien con una sierra eléctrica. Cuando salí del embarcadero para regresar al Paseo, pude ver más de cerca. No solo podía soportarlo. Estaba profundamente dormido. El ruido de la construcción se detuvo momentáneamente y lo escuché roncar (sonaba como si estuviera cortando troncos — o roncando troncos, como diría San Geraldo).

Fuimos a cenar al Mesón Salvador anoche. No solo tuvimos otra comida excepcional, sino que pudimos ver a Adrian, Angel y nuestro amigo Sergio. Hizo un día agotador de negocios mucho más dulce. Mi copa de Zumbral (vino de Málaga, también conocido como vino dulce) y nuestra rebanada compartida de tarta de queso con mango recién horneada por el chef David no dolió. La tarta fue mejor que cualquier cosa que pudiéramos haber imaginado. El hombre es un genio.

A Dudo le encanta unirse a mí en la cama al comienzo de la noche. Le hablo mientras lo acaricio. Cuando Moose escucha una conversación de cualquier tipo, viene corriendo. Escuchó que San Geraldo estaba hablando por teléfono ayer por la tarde y se sentó a sus pies aullando hasta que lo arrastré. Entonces, cuando Moose me oye hablar con Dudo, viene corriendo y se une a nosotros. A veces, a Dudo no le importa. Otras veces, Dudo se queja e inmediatamente se va. Y otras veces se abrazan. Anoche no fue ninguno de esos momentos, como puede ver en las dos últimas fotos de hoy.

• My rose of salmon and mango.
• Mi rosa de salmon y mango.
• Lovingly served up by Sergio.
• Servido con cariño por Sergio.
• Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged!
• ¡Vuelve, vuelve, vuelve al lugar al que una vez perteneciste!
• After I said, ‘Dudo, be nice!’
• Después de que dije yo: “¡Dudo, sé amable!”
• And a moment later.
• Y un momento después.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

35 thoughts on “Barefoot in the park / Descalzo en el parque”

  1. Now Mitchell, don’t worry about getting picture of the beach bars….we need more picture like the first guy. FINALLY a handsome guy, very sexy legs and WEARING THEM CORRECT!!!!!!!!!!! Send him the Casa du Borghese STAT! I have a award for him.

    Loved seeing the boys today too. Yet again…that face of Moose.

  2. It is really too bad Dudo and Moose can’t express their feelings…ha! Love the brotherly touch of Dudo and the side-eye look from Moose. Hope the fur didn’t fly.

    The sleeping guy on the beach was evidently looking for a safe place to snore–somewhere with a noise level equal to his own.

    As for the offerings from Mesón Salvador…yum!

    1. Mary,
      The fur didn’t fly. They settled down for a bit. I wonder if the sleeping guy on the beach is seriously hard of hearing. Having coffee at Meson Salvador right now.

  3. I love your pics. Your cats are beautiful, and this is coming from a person who isn’t a cat person. That guy running barefoot reminded me of when I used to run with “barefoot running shoes”. I got them as a Christmas gift years ago and I loved them. Problem was that running on the bare pavement caused me to get an achilles heel injury and I had to have surgery. The surgeon told me I’d never run again. Well, now I am running, albeit much slower now, but I am not wearing barefoot shoes. I read a book about the research behind them and there were many, many reasons why one should wear them as our ancestors didn’t have fancy running shoes. Well, this modern and old guy needs high tech running gear to avoid injuries!

    1. Mcpersonalspace54,
      That heel injury is exactly the kind of thing I’d worry about. I love the look of those toed barefoot shoes, but I’ll still to solid running shoes with cushions. The cats thank you. (Not really; they don’t seem t9 care what anyone thinks. They’re cats.)

  4. Oh, that salmon mango rose looks so arty and delicious!

    The other danger of walking barefoot on hot cement pavement is burning the soles of your feet. That happened to me when I was 18 (young and foolish). The blisters! The blisters! I never did THAT again.

    1. Debra,
      One summer in Miami… I know exactly what you mean. That was a painful burn and blistering. I was 14. The salmon mango rose was not as beautifully presented as usual (David wasn’t working), but the components were perfect.

  5. Oh, that barefoot runner *sigh*. I do wish short-shorts would come back for some people. I don’t do barefoot since the needle in the shag rug and my foot incident circa 1966.
    The snoring dude is a melanoma just waiting to happen.
    Does that rose come in pork and apples?
    Those two boys of yours get more gorgeous with each picture.

    1. Deedles,
      Plenty of old fashioned running shorts around lately… and Lycra seems to be gaining in popularity. Wish this guy had gotten the memo. SG makes pork loin and apples; not in the shape of a rose, however. Wonder what barefoot runner’s skin will look like in another 30 years.

  6. Hello Orange Shorts!!!
    I like the rose, but could I substitute anything for mango????
    Dudo wants alone time with Daddy. Is that so wrong??

    1. Bob,
      Don’t you like mango or are you allergic to it? We were surprised to learn what a common allergy it is… when a friend broke out in hives a few years ago. Want me to find you Orange Shorts of your own?

  7. That barefoot runner must have pretty calloused feet and wouldn’t even feel it if he ran over/onto a splinter of glass. Oh to tough like that, eh?! I have very wimpy feet and need runners.
    Food looks delicious.

    1. Jim,
      Even if I could, I wouldn’t run barefoot on pavement. I love it on the beach however.

  8. I don’t understand the running barefoot thing myself. #1 I don’t run lol and #2 I would be gauranteed to step in dog shit. But good for him, I imagine people rarely look at his feet when he presents himself 🙂

    1. Cheapchick,
      Yeah, I think most people say, “He was barefoot? I hadn’t noticed.”

  9. Moose and Dudo remind me of two kids in the backseat of a car on a family vacation… “Dad, Dudo’s touching me again!”. I believe the customary response is, “Knock it off, boys. Don’t make me come back there!”… tee hee hee! Thanks for the much-needed laugh today, Mitchell Block!

    1. Tundra Bunny,
      Two kids in the backseat is the perfect description of Moose and Dudo!

  10. Snoring logs! I love SG’s expressions. They aren’t annoying, at least not to me. They’re funny and endearing. The salmon rose is a thing of beauty and so is the running man.


      1. Janie,
        Salmon rose is delicious. I haven’t sampled Running Man.

    1. Janie,
      I laugh at some of SG’s expressions. He laughs with me and then asks “What’s it supposed to be?” And I then usually have to explain why.

  11. He might need help getting those feet clean! The snoozer, is obviously the construction project manager, they always sleep on the job.

    1. David,
      I’ll give Barefoot Runner your card. Do you suppose the snoozer has significant hearing loss?

  12. Hey – Dennis and I both worked at Mayo Rochester for 20 years. Twenty MN winters prompted our move to Belize!

    Snoring logs is great. Not exactly the same, but entertaining never-the-less, is what my friend’s 5 year old son called nostrils – snotrils! Very apt, don’t you think?

    Moose and Dudo are so much like human siblings. Great shots.

    1. Wilma,
      I hope your work at Mayo was a good experience… other than 20 Minnesota winters! Snotrils is brilliant!!!

  13. Yeah, that’s definitely not cuddling. Seems more like, “Get away from me.”

    I wonder if the guy sleeping next to all the construction had earbuds in? Or ear plugs?

    1. Steve:
      I think the guy next to the construction must have serious hearing loss.

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