Switch Heels for Clown Shoes: The Circus is Back in Town


Published: November 03, 2010

Come one, come all to the Big Apple Circus! An awesome troupe of lasso twirlers from China has roped the models offstage. Fashion moguls have been replaced by Kenyan athletes and a lively Ethiopian juggler. Heel-sporting style devotees are being overrun by hoards of ice-cream-stained children.

Unlike the stoic fashion models that used to strut up and down Lincoln Center, their Circus replacements have a much cheerier disposition. (Bertaud Guay/Big Apple Circus)

Not only is the circus back in town, it’s our next-door neighbor. From Oct. 21 to Jan. 9, the circus is again stationed at Lincoln Center, transforming the spot Fashion Week previously called home into a world of excitement and adventure.

It’s time to put the designer duds in storage for a while and step right up to the greatest show on earth! Everyone is welcome to enjoy the performance, and there is no need to know your Gucci from your Fucci. After all, the only mortal style sin for clowns is forgetting their red noses.

College students should be refreshed to know that the days of competing with the toned and trendy fashion elite are over! No need to stumble around with pumps when clown shoes are the new Louboutins. Why worry about the perfect belt to go with your pants when striped overalls are just as cool?

And circus-loving kids can make up for any frustration caused by their cuteness factor alone. The best part? They don’t give Manhattan once-overs… You know, when catty women and men stare you down from top to bottom to see if you’re on trend. So enjoy a vibrant change to avenue after avenue of the stores and restaurants you’ve been passing for years.

Students who can’t seem to get their act together can learn a few new tricks from some of the greatest performing artists in the country. Need something to talk about to distract overbearing relatives? Just tell them your neighborhood is a circus… literally. Yes Uncle John, I am enjoying myself here. I saw a movie last night, ate my favorite Thai dish, and stopped by the circus before walking back over to my dorm. Sally the horse trainer caught a glimpse of you in the family photos I picked up this morning and says hello.

Does the idea of clowns make you cast a frown ever since your parents exposed you to the movie “It” at the impressionable age of 5? If the adorable children with looks of wonder on their tiny faces aren’t enough to make you crack a smile, let the lovable-laugh riot clown called Grandma calm your intense distaste for anyone donning a big red nose and white face paint.

Maybe I’m making too big a deal of this. By next month, I might just walk right past the whole setup like it’s the Chinese restaurant I patronized every other day in freshman year but has now become old news to me. I’ll admit that I also thought Fashion Week was the best thing ever when it first made its stylish debut. After stalking a few famous faces for about an hour as my iPod ear buds blasted Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” on repeat, the only thing I felt was leg cramps.

But for now, leave me to my excitement. I’m enjoying the change in scenery, and stylistically speaking, competing with moms and circus workers is so much easier than attempting to keep up with a slew of gorgeous models. So put off studying for that exam (you know you were going to anyway) in a creative way-by stepping right up to greet our entertaining and hilarious neighbor.