Friday, January 25, 2008

Real Shoe Lovers Wait In Line

The Guys who have been sleeping out in the elements for days now have their reward, the Jordan Air XX3 limited-edition shoe in Carolina Blue. Foot Locker opened their doors this morning at 6am to sell 23 pairs. See my guy Chris, the most gracious #1 on 34th Street, below. I hope he's #1 countrywide. But first, at 5:45 am, as my toes froze in my thin black boots (most of The Guys were wearing what on their feet? Duh, Air Jordans), I asked a few questions.

FH: "What do you think Micheal Jordan's doing right now?"
The Guys: "That *#$$@!'s sleeping!"
FH: "Where are the girls?"
The Guys: "They didn't make the 23's for girls."
FH: "Don't you guys miss some feminine company out here in the cold?" Mumbling ensues; I think the answer was no.
FH: "How do your girlfriends feel about you being out here all week?" Volume of mumbling increases. No one seems too worried.
One Guy: "I haven't got anyone waiting for me, but if there was I wouldn't care." Hmm, that could be the problem. But wait, guys,
FH: "Women love shoes too!"
The Guys: "Yeah, women are crazy about shoes, but they're crazy about some weird shoes!" Whoa, patent leather sneakerhead, who you calling weird?!
FH: "Is it true this is the last Air Jordan release?" As patient and cooperative as The Guys have been with me, they were unable to hide their disdain for this ignorant question.
The Guys: "This is the last of his numbers, not the last Jordan shoe..." "Once there was a raffle for a $2,000 shoe," "yo, how'd that happen with the raffle, what did you have to do to get that?" "and then there's the Eminem shoe no one knew about, he just tossed it into the audience at his concert," "like there's a bunch of New Yorkers walking around with $5,000 shoes that nobody knows about..."
I'd sparked a lively and, for me, esoteric discussion of unknown collectibles wandering the streets. Meanwhile my mind wandered, musing upon these admirable young men and their shoe passion. Can the legendary female passion for shoes equal this impressive quest for the XX3 on 34th Street? Or have we met our match? Yes, women have queued up early in the morning for sales, like at the Manolo Blahnik boutique, the shoe floor at Saks on Black Friday, and for designer lines like Stella McCartney at H&M. They've torn clothes off mannequins, yanked trench coats from strange hands, and shoved older women aside to snag the proper size. But would we wait outside a shoe store for over four days in winter cold? Hell, no. Men can go four days without showering. No way would a woman sit for days unshowered in broad daylight on a major NYC street.

So yes, The Guys, congratulations, you totally win. You are the true shoe enthusiasts. For more proof, check out Sneakerhead Hollywood (bottom) and his tattoo. I don't know any girls with tattoos commemorating their shoe achievements.

Chris, on the left, 5:45am
The manager opens the door for Chris, 6am

Foot Locker,
120 W. 34th between 6th & 7th