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Thursday, September 28, 2006

36 Hour Shoe Line

Posted by on September 28 at 14:05 PM

When I first saw the line of people bundled up and waiting on 6th Ave downtown between Pike and Pine, I thought: parade? soup kitchen? No, they’ve set up the folding chairs and grabbed the blankets for the release of a new Air Jordan shoe by Niketown Friday at midnight.

waiting for jordans.JPG

There’s only about 15 people who’ve set up camp so far, but the guys at the front of the line are adamant that by tomorrow night, the line will stretch around the corner. “People’ll form a second line and try to cut us,” said one young guy, “They’ll try…”

The first guy in line has been waiting since yesterday morning, but he’s been counting down to the day he can own the shoes for much longer — he started planning the wait when Nike announced the release date for the $155 Air Jordan 5 Retro (also called Grapes because they’re officially emerald and grape colored) last January. He’s taking vacation time from his job to wait for the shoes.

I don’t get it, I said. First of all, they’re just shoes. And couldn’t you just buy them online? Or wait a week? I’m all for seeing movies on opening midnights, but tickets only cost $155 in New York and LA.
Plus, movies are entertaining. Shoes are shoes, which aren’t fun.

The Air Jordan-obsessors say they’ve heard it all before; people walking by are often sarcastic or plain bewildered. But they justified it by saying they remember when the first Air Jordans came out and they were too young to buy them then. And, they say the shoes will be sold out as soon as they’re released and online they’re being scalped at (more) outrageous prices. They’re right — the shoes are selling for more than $200 on eBay.

Anyway, I’m sure Nike is thrilled. A few blocks away I noticed a street grafitti tag by cosmetics company Urban Decay: spray paint on the sidewalk trying to make it seem like they have some sort of popular following within the city.

CommentsRSS icon

Did you just say shoes where not fun??? How could you?

Case in point:


Air Jordans are a huge status symbols among a section of the population. They want to be the first on their block to get them. They're so trendy that they will be "out" in less than a year so they have to get them fast.

Doesn't seem that unusual.

those are some ugly ass shoes. sorry.

the air jordans i mean - not the jeffery campbell ones. those are fierce.

Might this be the first time in recorded human history that a woman has mocked someone--anyone, of any gender--for loving shoes?

So wait - let me get this straight. If you're a cultureless suburbanite with a pocket full of dough, you can plant your ass for two days on a downtown sidewalk. But if you're a homeless person down on your luck and try to take a load off you can get hauled to jail. Jeesh.

And where do these losers pee at night - by the gutter, on the Starbucks, in the alley? I'm sure that's cool, too. We can just think of it as Nike anointing our lucky Emerald City with more sprinkles of gold.

Are those still stitched by 3-year-old Indonesian girls? Love their handywork!

shoes=fun. fun, fun, fun. that being said, i don't think there's anything worth taking vacation time to wait for. maybe the birth of a child? maybe.

Someone should tattoo Nike Slave on the unshod feet of all those people in line.

i love shoes perhaps more than the next guy, but there's no way in hell you'd catch me giving up days of my life for a pair. that's just silly...unless they're some really limited edition cortezes, in which case i might be convinced. but jordans? meh.

Imagine a girl saying she doesn't comprehend the appreciation of a great pair of shoes.

When it comes to something as simple to understand as a pop culture trend you are a willfully obtuse cunt.

I love shopping for shoes! The best part of watching Sex in the City was the great shoes.

While I don't wear Nikes, I can understand waiting in line for the shoe you love. This thread is a great advertisement for Nike! Does Nike advertise in The Stranger?

Good god, do you guys ever take a break?

"Plus, movies are entertaining. Shoes are shoes, which aren’t fun."

My gold metallic leather loafers vs. any movie starring Jim Carrey. The shoes by a mile.

My black and white checkerboard creepers vs. any movie starring Tom Hanks. Again, the shoes.

I'll stop there.

Mark, sounds like you love shoes as much as I do! My last pair of Manolo Blahnik's were a steal at $450. Even better the first time I wore them out I got asked out on a date with a super guy.

Shoes, shopping and Television are my life that's why I love The Stranger.

This seems out of another reality. Air Jordans are so 15 years ago.

Which is why they're soooo hott!!!

This is a clear case of abusive manipulation by the media.

Sarah Mirk is clearly trying to use ridicule to discourage us from standing in line for Air Jordans so that she can swoop in and get the "grapes" for herself.

"a few blocks away I noticed a street grafitti tag by cosmetics company Urban Decay"

this is a whole other can of worms and, a huge "problem" in cities like london, sf and nyc. especially when companies start appropriating the art and style of actually street artists.. :(

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