The store, Sole Food ( the name is clever, I know!), has to be one of the most amazing spots I've ever been to. One of the managers/co-founders/ i'm not really sure exactly what to call him, a brother named Mike, is extremely friendly, a true sneakerhead (dude knew about kicks from back in the day, we're talking before- the-air-bubble-in -the-Nike sole old school), and easily one of the most hilarious cats I've come across in a while. The store just had this raw feel to it, you know? A lot of the kicks are custom-made (top of the line customs, felt like they were straight out of the factory), and there were actually artists in the store working on product when me and my boys stopped by. The environment was incredibly relaxed, and we all got familiar real quick; hotly debating everything from what makes an ill MC (Mike and I had a huge disagreement about this one as he is a fan of neither Lil Wayne nor Charles Hamilton) to what kind of Snapples we should get for the group. We ended up agreeing to disagree about Weezy, getting a round of Lemon Iced Teas, and hanging out for about 2 hours. Best shopping experience ever.
Yet, as is usually the case with my rather abnormal brain, there were a plethora of things running through my mind as I sat in the store drinking my sugary beverage and nodding my head to the hum of Kanye's Auto-tune. I'll list them for you:
1. As (in my experience at least) Black and Brown folks love to rock/sell/talk about kicks, why arent there more people of color-owned spaces for such discourse and commercial exchange to take place? I mean, I know why (White supremacy, widespread lack of financial education, etc.) but still, it would be amazing to see more places like Sole Food be successful.
2. Is there any worse feeling than being on the 1 train with no music or reading material? I think not.
3. It is really difficult for Black men who really love their moms (i.e. Me, Dev, and my boy Ev) to shop for them come Christmas time. They gave us life, what can we possibly buy with our measly work-study earnings to match that?!
4. I wish i could keep high school summer love in a jar and open it at Christmas time. It would be the perfect cure-all for the tense New York shopping crowds and frigid weather. I need some of that right about now...
5. They need to start installing electric outlets on public transportation. Millions of cell phones in this city and nowhere to charge them? Foolishness!
But yeah, anyway, so after number 5 slowly wormed its way out of my consciousness I went to dinner with the boys. We ate cheeseburgers, reminisced about high school (shout out to Rye Country Day), and talked about our futures. We all silently hoped in our hearts that today wouldn't be an anomaly. That we could stay this close forever; be 40 years old with families and still find time to eat mediocre food together at the same diner. Today wasn't just about the sneakers, I guess. It was about brotherhood too; about two of my best friends and our wild trip to the city to get fresh and do some late shopping for the women that mean the world to us. Happy holidays, everyone. Spend it with those you love.