Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Alife Rivington Club

Alife Rivington Club (A.R.C.) is sneakerhead heaven. Flat out, there's no better place in NYC to buy hot new kicks than the Rivington Club. Damn, let's not limit that to just NYC; it's the best place in the entire world. Seriously, this is the pinnacle of high concept sneaker shops.

First off, you'd better know the address of the shop is 158 Rivington Street because that's how you gotta find it--there's no big sign outside like you'd find at any normal store. Other than the address, the only external marking you'll find is a small bronzed plaque on the wall between two locked doors. Locked? Yeah, that's right, locked. You gotta press a button to be buzzed in.

Once you're in the door, you'll find the richest looking shop ever. On the right is a long leather bench along an ostrich-skin wall, and across the plush green carpeting is a wall of individually illuminated dark wood cubby holes showcasing each sneaker like a work of art. Above the cubbys, locked behind glass, are rare Air Jordans. Hanging from the ceiling is a lavish chandelier. At the back is a wooden podium with an old time red telephone. Then out the back is a large open air courtyard to chill in. Spend one minute in the shop and you'll instantly know why it's called the Rivington Club.

As for the kicks, what you'll find is the absolute best selection of the newest sneakers available. Being one of only six Nike Tier Zero accounts in the entire country, the Rivington Club gets the hottest and rarest new Nike kicks. Of course, being consistently rated as one of the best--and often THE best--sneaker shops in the world, they also get the new hotness from other manufactures like Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, Fila, and more. Watch out tho; they sell out of sneakers fast, and they don't restock old joints (gotta keep it fresh) so if you see something you want, you better jump on it fast because it'll probably be gone if you wait--and then you'll be stuck slummin it at your local mall searching for leftovers hoping to find the heat you seen and shoulda bought at the Rivington Club.

About the staff--I met Chris and Jesse, and they were two of the coolest doods I met in NYC. They treated me like I was their best friend, talked about sneakers, music, made fun of some rude dumbasses, just all kinds of shit. I happened to be wearing my Wu Tang shirt and Chris asked me if I was going to the Raekwon show @ Santos that night (which unfortunately I wasn't) and we got to talking about the music video that was filmed there that summer; it was for a Dilla song featuring Raekwon and Havoc that of course I'd already seen. Chris mentioned that the dude in the video that gets tied up was Jesse--that's cool as hell. Who wouldn't wanna be in a music video, and a Wu + Dilla one at that? Damn.

In addition to the Rivington Club, you'll find two other Alife stores in the vicinity. Next door--through the other locked door out front--is the Alife brand store where you'll find sneakers and apparel from the Alife brand themselves. Across the street is their third store, A.R.C. Sports, where you'll find the Alife collaborations with companies like Nike, Fila, and other major brands. I ran over there to pick up some of the limited edition Black, White, Gum & Bang! A.R.C. Nike Dunk High Supreme TZ sneakers--and as luck would have it, I bought the next to last pair of size 10.5 they had.

Yeah okay, so can you tell I liked the place? Ha ha! What's not to like for a true sneakerhead? Freshest kicks, rare heat, unique collabs, best atmosphere imaginable, and the coolest staff. Absolutely without a doubt, Alife Rivington Club is the shit. If you're going to NYC, you absolutely must hit this place up.

Highest possible recommendation.

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