Tuesday, January 30

My favorite color is...

Today will be all be about shoes. And I will show all of you good people my most recent purchase. A shoe that quickly jumped to the tippity top of my sneaker hill. But first...a bit of history first.


For those of you not in the know. This be the flag of the Netherlands. This is where I'm from. Yes, I am a (sometimes) proud American: born and raised. But, both sides of my family are like 100% percent Dutch. Shit, the first memories I have are from when I lived in Orange City, Iowa. Named after the Royal House of Orange. This is all to say I got some roots in the land of Holland and I gots love for the orange! Best. Color. Ever. In addition to having the best national color they have the best World Cup uniforms, not to mention progressive laws, nice people, etc.

Now, you are probably asking what all of this has to do with my new sneakers. Wait for it....we will get there, don't you worry. In the summer of 2005 there was a lot of hype about some new Air Max 1's that were being released from Amsterdam. There were samples released and taken back and changed and lots of nonsense. What came out of all of that mess were the best Air Max 1's ever. They are almost impossible to find now, and I do NOT have a pair. Most likely I never will. But, I can still love them. Here are some pics.

Amazing colorway....no? The sole kills me. It was the first shoe I ever saw with the speckled paint. Check out the heel. Amsterdam stand up!

And finally just peep the insole.


This shoe was very limited. But, of course there was one released that was even more limited. It had the signature of the artist who did the image on the insole. From what I have read, there were 24 of these made. And there were even some done in the original colorway.

Again with the sick heel print. "Amsterdam is King"


As I said before...I got nothing but love for the orange. But in this case, I think the orange colorway takes second place. It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes orange can be beat.

This shoe has come to be known as the Air Max 1 Amsterdam. So when I heard a few months ago that there was going to be another shoe dropping from the same people in Amsterdam I got excited. Details were hard to come by at first, but of course they came in due time. This was the first teaser shot.


As you can see, they are from Patta. The hottest sneaker shop in Amsterdam from all accounts. Someday....I will have to stop in and say "hi". Back to the shoe. They were to be released in late December. This was kinda upsetting as I was going to be in New Zealand. Things did not look good. Then I started seeing full shots of the shoe online. It was not love at first sight. But, when I was in NZ, I saw it in the flesh...and I was completely won over. It is amazingly full of detail. I love it. I bought it and have no regrets at all, even though they were not cheap. Here is some shoe porn for you:

Notice the details. The suede and the lasered leaf pattern. Not to mention the perforated leather toe box. oh...did you want to see a shot from the back???

How nice is that orange?

They came with the nice lace holder. "M 90" = Air Max 90. The best Air Max ever....if you ask me. More shots, more shots.

They are named Homegrowns. They are in honor of the independent hip-hop scene in Holland. A CD featuring Dutch rappers was released with the shoe in some stores. Sadly, I did not get one. I would love to hear what going on over there music wise. Ok, ok...let's get into the shoe.

Cork insoles. Very comfortable and super interesting. They pulled out all the stops. (A phrase that comes from playing the organ...click HERE if you don't believe me.)

It came with 3 sets of laces. As you can see, I am digging the orange right now. Very soon I might get down with the white. I will probably stay away from the green for a while. I need something to breakup all that green....as nice as it is. Plus...the old Nike Air hang tag. I haven't seen that lovely thing in forever. It stirred up some long dead memories of shopping with my mom in Footlocker. I collected those tags. I wonder where they all ended up??? No matter, at least now I have one. As for the shoe, there were only 750 pairs made. That makes it pretty exclusive....which is kinda nice. As I looking around today...at all my usual haunts in Shinjuku and Ueno, I only saw that one shop had them. But I know most people that get them will probably save them and not wear them. Me...I'm a shoe wearer, not a collector. To each his own. One last note. Nike being Nike, there had to be a more limited version of the same shoe. (Hyperstrike as compared to the Quickstrike: 24 shoes released vs. 750.) Take a look.


It might sound like sour grapes, cause I will most likely never even SEE these, but I like the green base more than the orange. Truth be told....even to me, that sounds like sour grapes. Who knows...I might find them one day. Life is in the search.

ps. If you couldn't figure it out...my favorite color is orange.

Friday, January 26

Man in Tokyo: in New Zealand part 4 (Final)

Well folks, I'm back in Tokyo. And not a moment to soon...I was getting real tired of NZ. It is a nice place to visit...but 5 weeks was a bit too long. Too long to be away from my life in Tokyo. But before this blog goes back to all Tokyo all the time...I bring you a New Zealand wrap up.

I had a burger on one weekend. It was one of those burger shops that had stupid names for different burgers. I hate that. I bristle having to utter the words "Ford Fusion Burner" just to order a bacon and avocado cheese burger. Idiots. Whatever....at least they supplied me with a handy burger holder. It worked really well. (The burger was delicious...despite it's absurd name.)

Another weekend I was also able to go to One Tree Hill. (Nothing to do with a really bad American TV show.) It is a famous place in Auckland. It was really nice. That picture above was the trees covering the entrance road. It went on for a really long time. So pretty. Here are some shots from the top of the hill. Oh and, if you care....the "ONE" tree died 10 years ago, but they didn't change the name of the hill. Go figure.

I thought the kids were playing close too the edge, but their parents didn't seem too concerned. If it were in a America, there would be triple barrier fences. Whatever, I was happy that no fences ruined the view.

In the center at the bottom you can see some words. I was told that young kids go down there at night and spell out words and names. Crazy times down there in NZ! And those tiny white dots on the left side??? You guessed it: New Zealand's famous sheep!

After that...it was off to a pub for a beer.

As I showed in an earlier post, Auckland had it's fair share of graffiti. I saw this strong little stencil work a couple times. (It is about 1 foot tall.) It is pretty dark, but for some reason, I like it. Take a look and decide for yourself.

One thing I didn't talk about was my night adventures. I went out a couple times. Most notably to a drum and bass night I found out about. It was within walking distance, a first for me. I was also able to get some nice shots of the Sky Tower at night.

It is a nice tower. Now, on to the d&b. I went a couple times, but only the last time I went was the place jumpin. That last night had the best music too....by far. It was local dj's, but they had some slammin beats. There is nothing quite like getting your chest rumbled by some heavy rollers. But me being me...I couldn't leave my nasty side at home. I had to talk shit about the people there. I took notes on my phone to keep myself entertained. Here they are in no particular order...and without pics. I figured it was pretty rude to take pics of people I was talking shit about. So without further ado, thoughts while at a d&b night:

Shoes NOT to wear
- open toed anything
- flats
- boots of any kind: cowboy, work, etc

Ok people, find a beat and dance to it...this is not a free for all.

80's style Paula Abdul dance move combined with a twist from the 50's will just not do.

So many of these people belong in the trance room...oh wait...there is no trance room.

The safe-keeping of important things is a priority...but must you dance with your bag on your shoulder?

Dockers? Really? Ok...but I think you look pretty silly there Mr. Business Casual.

Any form of tap dancing is not allowed.

Try not to dance when only a siren is happening. You can take a short breather while you wait for the beat to drop back in.

Try to resist going crazy with the goa trance bits. This is might not be the best time to show off your best sun worshipping move.

Any move that wouldn't look out of place at Riverdance is a no no.

Stretching for a minute before dancing is a good idea. Pulling up the hood of your windbreaker before busting your move is inspired!

The End. (I tried to end on a positive note...nice of me....no?)

PS. Th chances of people enjoying that list are slim to none....so be it. Before I go, two things. A big thank you goes out to the 2 people who took such good care of me while I was in Auckland. I couldn't have done it without you. (So "grammar" is with "ar"....not "er"??? Are you sure?") And then there is also this:

A teaser for later. These were a gift to myself for surviving my Auckland stay. Wait till you see them!!!