Game. Set. Match.
Allow me to digress for one second. Before I complete this post I would
like for all who read this to understand that I am not angry. Although
many people who shared this experience with me were/maybe still are very angry,
I am not. The following post is a factual recount of what
transpired outside of ALIFE yesterday (or at least as factual as a human writer
can get.) If for some reason this post comes across angry, please
understand that there is no hate in my blood…..
So I woke up yesterday at around 6am to prepare myself for ALIFE’s release of
“The Ball-Out” ALIFE x Reebok Court Victory Pump. ALIFE’s doors
were set to open at around 11am so I figured that getting to the store at about
7:30am would put me in a good position to score one of the 42 pairs of kix
(unfortunately I made a gross mistake in my estimation of the amount of people
that could potentially line up early for this release….). Now in
order to line up and wait for hours for a pair of kix (or anything else for
that matter) in the dead of winter in NYC, you must be mentally, physically,
and emotionally prepared. I immediately turned on my PC and logged
onto NT and ISS in order to get the scouting report on the
situation. To my surprise, a poster on NT reported that as of 8:30pm on Friday (remember the sneaker was set
to release at 11am on Saturday) there
were already seven people waiting on line. I immediately added a couple
more bodies to that number under the assumption that at least 10 more people
would have lined up after this initial seven (at least I was somewhat correct
on this one). Now mentally prepared for my trip, I threw on about 6
layers of clothing in order to survive the four hours in 15 degree weather, and
of course, a pair of Reebok Pumps. I jumped on the train, listening to
some inspirational music on my iPod along the way (The Blueprint, just in case
you really wanted to know).
I was in for a surprise when I finally got to the store at about 7:45am, I was (by several unofficial
counts) anywhere between 30th and 37th on line. There were about four
cars full of people on the block, alternating people in and out of the line in
order to keep warm, and about 20 people outside on the line freezing their English
muffins off. In typical sneaker release fashion, the lawn/beach
chairs, blankets, sleeping bags, etc., were in full effect. After scoping
the entire situation I settled into my place on the line and proceeded to
Fortunately I happened to be behind a couple of cool people, shout out to Adam
from Battery Studios. They had just lined up not to long before I did and
they all seemed to be in good spirits. The guy right in front of this
group of cool peeps was another cool guy that had been standing on line
since about 3am. I found it
pretty amazing that no one had lined up between the hours of 3am and 7am.
Apparently everyone that lined up just before I did (and definitely after I did)
made the same gross under estimation.
In order to pass the time and remain sane, we all chatted it up, talking about
kix and life, the typical sneaker line up conversation points. Everyone
on line was civil, in good spirits, and freezing….The first guy on line made
an ambassadorial trip to the end of the line, where I still stood at about 8:30am. Now I will have to say this, this
guy is the CHAMPION. There is no doubting this. He started the line
up AT 12:00 PM FRIDAY AFTERNOON! Please realize everyone, that by 11am when the shop was set to open, he would
have been waiting for 23hrs! A tennis clap for this guy please. He
is on top of his game and is easily the Champion of this sport (if you are
reading this, please get in contact with me ASAP!). He was a cool dude
and he filled us in on a couple of his more recent sneaker hunt exploits, all
of which I would have to say, served to bolster his right to the
throne. One more tennis clap please! One thing that he did
mention, which disturbed me, he heard that ALIFE only had about 30 pairs for
sale. Earlier reports put the number at around 40. Safe to say, I
wasn’t mentally prepared for that one.
Time went on and the line behind me got much longer. At opening time,
there were about 20 people behind me on line. And then it happened around
11:15am, the door opened. The
line bunched up and made a circle around the door. Everyone still kept
their places on line, and again, it was very civil. People were going in
at an average of about three at a time and each customer was allowed only one
pair. As people started coming out of the store though, the situation
became increasingly bleak like Memphis.
It seemed as though full sizes were selling out at the blink of an eye, mind
you at this point about ten (max) people had gone in the store. Each
person that came out informed us of another size that sold out, and another,
and another, and another. First it was 7’s and 8’s, then 11′, 12’s, and
13’s. By the time the 15th person (estimation but it is anywhere btw 15th
and 20th) came out of the store, the kix were gone. “The
Ball-Out” had balled its way out of stock, leaving at minimum, 40
upset people in its wake.
Now I have to say that I was a tad miffed, but nothing serious, I got there
late what should I expect? I would have been more pissed though had I
been the people in front of me (shout out to them). They had been waiting
a total of 11 to 12 hours on line overnight in the freezing NYC weather only to
be turned away prematurely. The crowd grew a little heated at this point
and understandably so. Everyone was shocked, left to wonder, or conspire,
as to what had happened to the 20 other some odd pairs of sneakers. Noticing
that the noise level and anger level was steadily rising, an ALIFE rep came
out to speak to the crowd. He offered his apologies (which I felt were
sincere) and an explanation of the event. Unfortunately, no one was
buying anything, neither is apologies, explanation, or ALIFE
merchandise. I tried to get a picture of this ALIFE rep, to
highlight him for his sincere words, but I was told “no
pictures”. This is the one thing that I can say that I am pissed
about, but this is neither the time nor the place for that….
The crowd dispersed into the sun, many of its members highly disgruntled.
There were smiles, there were frowns, some ups and many downs.
I for one went straight to IHOP to treat myself to a good breakfast. BELIEVE IT
OR NOT I DIDNT HAVE TO WAIT ON LINE AT ALL AT IHOP!!!! Now this is more rare
than any sneaker that has ever come out! There is a minimum of a 30
minute wait at any given IHOP at any given time of the day. The pancakes
Enjoy some pics!!! (I apologize if they are to bright, try putting on a pair of
My view of the line at around 7:45 am
A wider shot of the line early on
Straight troopers man, tennis clap for you as well!
The front of the line early on, smiles all around!
The Champion ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, he glows for some
weird reason. Maybe 24hrs in the cold will do that to you…
The line at open
“What can I say? Step your camping game up, son!”
Last but not least, The Aftermath. There are no smiles in this pic….
Stay tuned for part two of this post where I will provide some insight into the lining up and camping out process….