Talk about your stomp and circumstance: The public christening of Nike Sportswear vs 212, the 21 Mercer Street superstore for Nike's off-the-field sportswear in, you guessed it, lower Soho, was filled with sound and fury, signifying an opening. Closing off the entire block between Grand and Canal (oh, the poor residents), Nike created a virtual stadium complete with bleachers, astroturf, popcorn, a massive screen with a countdown clock, ballpark franks and, yes, cheap domestic beer.
After DJ Mark Ronson spun a few hip-hop classics and the Soul Tigers marching band did their best halftime show, Spike Lee stood atop the stairs of the new store to address the crowd. Strangely, his shoutouts to New York's various pro sports teams left out his own Knickerbockers…curious. Rodger Federer was first to open the doors where, it seems, only luminaries and lesser lights like Maria Sharapova, Alexander Wang, Cory Kennedy, Justin Theroux, Kyle Demers, and Venus Williams had easy entry. Us, we waited at the door as various ruffians pushed and clamored claiming to be "buds" with Spike, Q-Tip, or whichever celeb or PR rep they thought could get them in the door. It may have been the opening of an activewear store, but we were not prepared to sweat through a virtual yoga class to get in press invite or no. Luckily, other blogs had already given us an insider look of 212. But hey, wieners, brews, marching bands—it was a good night at the park.
Photography by Lianna Tarantin