Tag Archives: pope

The Pope Wears Prada

The question on my brain and the answer from London’s Daily Mail:

Why the Pope Wears Red Shoes

“Benedict XVI’s red loafers have drawn attention since he became Pope in 2005.

Dubbed the “Prada Pope” after the maker of the shoes, Benedict has been seen wearing the ruby red shoes during his trips and other important events.

The loafers are seen as a statement of his desire to demonstrate continuity with the symbols and history of the Church.

His predecessor, Pope John Paul II, wore brown shoes, which stood out. Though wearing red shoes is a papal tradition, the practice is optional.

Theology Professor Lawrence Cunningham of Notre Dame, in a podcast for NPR.org, said the Pope’s red shoes symbolize the blood of martyrdom.

“Traditionally, in the Catholic Church, the color red commemorates the blood of martyrdom … Fire and red are identified with the Holy Spirit,” Cunnigham said.

The shoes cost around $640 a pair, but the Pope gets them for free.”

P.S. The watch is Cartier.

— Downtown

The Colors are Changing


Is it me or is wordpress playing with the palette? Day before yesterday the “write page” was filled with hues of blues, mostly on the light side, while today it’s blue with orange – perhaps as a testimony to the Knicks need for a new manager. Isaiah Thomas was let go… no, I’m not a sports fan but the ten-year old shared the news with me before he said good morning earlier today.

Color is VERY important to this uptown girl, which might explain, thanks to the spring flowers in full bloom, why I’m so much happier these days.

The popeFEST continues at this end. Lot’s of motorcades, traffic stoppages etc yesterday. My favorite was upon crossing town from West to East yesterday afternoon on the M79 bus, the ten year old and I opted to walk South on Fifth Avenue rather than take wait for a bus. Once we hit 74th street, however, the metal barricades were up across the sidewalks (east and west sides of Fifth Ave) with multiple police people standing guard. The ka-razy thing was that we were able to board a bus and ride through the barricade, motor traffic was at a near standstill, however foot traffic was curtailed between 74 and 72. Guess how long it took us to travel two blocks… answer at end of post.

The 10 yr old and his dad are at Randalls island for baseball this morning, the 14 yr old slumbers. Plans for the day include a visit to Bloomingdales so that the 8th grader can finally purchase her spring dress for “middle school graduation” and my long awaited visit to Fifth Avenue for the Pope Parade. Then home to set the table for the sibs, cousins and elijah who will be joining us for dinner. Disfunction at it’s best. My plan is to make an effort to NOT take what anyone says personally, to celebrate freedom (honestly), and commit to not serving traditional Seder food ever again. I don’t like it and since my juice fast of two weeks back, the thought of eating meat repulses me…

By the way, I learned yesterday that His Holiness traveled from DC to JFK in the PopePlane. haven’t seen an image. Do you suppose it has an extra high ceiling so that he can stand throughout the journey, pope hat on. or is a 747, bubble top, sufficient?

The answer to the length of time it took to travel 2 blocks yesterday: 10 minutes.

It was fun, this is all fun.

next year in jerusalem.

xo UT

ps and speaking of changes in the layout of this page, what happened to the tags box??? this disarray is surely due to my generational handicap. i don’t suppose that you have encountered the same? have you?


I’ve been joking that I’m going to start a website called popewatch.com so we know where he is at all times. I’m thinking of somehow bringing google maps into play with this scenario.

I initially came up with that idea last summer, while visiting the Vatican and seeing so many people being disappointed that the pope was not “at home,” but rather, at his seaside summer residence. There’s no sign that tells you if he’s in or not — somehow I had it in my head that it would be like visiting Santa Claus with a little clock sign up on his throne pointing to the time he’d be back. This is not the case, instead, you have to actually ask someone that works there. But it’s pretty much implied that during the summer months, no one is actually home in a city if they have the means not to be (pope included).

If the pope is home, he appears at his fourth floor window, which is thrown open and a red velvet banner is placed over the sill. As in our case however, the window remained shut tight against the 110 degree heat. Thus, popewatch.com so you know where he is at all times. This would be especially useful when it comes to traffic (especially in and around Rome) and when he visits other cities around the world, since it literally cripples transportation.

While the pope’s in our city, I will be happily ensconced in the suburbs, enjoying the lovely weather, our visitors from D.C., seder dinner and the beauty of having a street to escape to that the pope won’t be cruising down anytime soon.

– Downtown

Pope Prep

Can’t help but get sucked into the neighborhood excitement preparations over the imminent visit of His Holiness. In fact, I wish I had a tool to track his travels, sort of like Doppler radar for the Pope or the way that new stations track Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

The NO PARKING signs are being put in place along the UES, police barricades, both blue saw horses and metal barriers are being set out as I type. As best I could tell, there’s little action on Fifth Avenue (compared to Monday’s spotting by this UT girl of the “pope advance team” with their heads tilted toward the heavens). That is, no bleachers, no barricades BUT there are pennants hanging from street lamps. For four blocks, I noticed Con Edison vans doing work at numbered street intersections, maybe that has to do with the underground safety precautions??? I didn’t ask.

The last time I recall a Pope in my midst was during my college days, Jean Paul, toured the US. I remember seeing his white robes, golden halo like aura (really) around his head and his silly pope mobile and all the talk about it. I didn’t see the pontiff first hand, only via national news. This time, I’ll be out there watching him ride by. Speaking of which, I ask the family members last night over dinner if any one would care to join me? Answer: a resounding no. I’ll take notes and pics.