Sneaker Street aka Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, Hong Kong
by Gio Chiappetta
Mong Kok literally means “busy corner” in Chinese. I just looked it up on wikipedia.com and it says that Mong Kok is in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the highest population density in the world, the Chinese don’t play.
Mong Kok is comprised of a few well known streets, markets and shopping arcades. It’s home to organized crime and it’s one of the central hubs of Hong Kong’s mainland side, or as the ignorant wealthy people here like to call it, ‘the dark side’. Ladies Market is pretty popular, it’s got a bunch of fake shit that tourists get charged way too much for. Goldfish Street is full of fish and illegal animals that have been smuggled in from China and sold at a small price… I bought a kitten there once. Portland Street which is where all the Chinese hookers are at… different vibe than the Chiz, no Filipinos. And then there’s Sneaker Street… on good seasons it can be a sneaker heads wet dream.
For the most part I’d like to say that 90% of the sneakers on Sneaker Street are real. Contrary to popular belief, there’s more fake food in Hong Kong than there are fake handbags and sneakers. I would say that there is more bootleg shit floating around New York City than there is Hong Kong… 99.9% of those Bape’s and AF1′s you guys have in the North America and Canada are fakes, I know the people who sell them to you. You know what they say, “If it ain’t from the store, it’s from offshore.”
Sneaker Street, which is actually only about two blocks long, is a combination of sporting goods stores, licensed retail outlets and smaller mom and pop type stores. The sporting goods stores sell a mix of A and B grade, authentic and bootleg, a lot of Asia only releases, a lot of the same shit you would find at Foot Locker, and occasionally you will even find some boutique only releases that aren’t supposed to be there (Hufs, Recons, etc.). The retail outlets are wack. The mom and pop type stores are where you find the fire. On a good day you’ll find shit that never even makes it onto the blogs, and if it made it onto overseas shelves it was sold out and is on ebay for CAN$1K.
The resell market here is huge, so I don’t know where the kids get the sneakers from, most likely the US or Japan, or maybe even directly from the factories. In China my friends, there are no rules.
That’s right. TDK has finally landed a proper location to show his goods to the people in downtown Toronto. Check him out in issue #89 and then hit Steamwhistle brewery to see it up close and personal…
Conflict: Denied Ops – EIDOS (PS3, XBOX360)PROS:-Neat vehicle missions! Controlling a huge tank makes you nobody’s B*tch!-Online two-player cooperative mode is Conflict’s big selling point.-It runs in HD (up to 1080p)- Tons to blow up. Levels are loaded propane tanks and barrelsCONS:-No four-player squad this time around.-It runs in HD (up to 1080p), so you’ll notice the early next-gen look-Single player Campaign mode suffers from frustrating AI issuesHere’s The Deal:Conflict: Denied Ops won’t exactly make you forget that Call of Duty 4 is just to your left beside the pizza box. The AI issues are kinda frustrating, but if you’ve got a buddy online, the 2 player co-op is a nice change of scenery. At least the game is in full HD though. 6.5/10
That’s right, Saturday March 8 is the day Blastmaster KRS One will be behind the mic at Canadian Music Week delivering a keynote address to the people. Check www.cmw.net for more…
Here’s a recent image of the man with none other than Buckshot Shorty. Can’t wait for their album…
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Multi-platform)This time, the stakes have been raised. It’s your chance to rescue America’s wildest city from an escalating terrorist siege. With massively expanded multiplayer, new seamless co-op, and customizable character creation, you have the tools to put an end to the terrorist threat for good. All new gameplay features include 11 new weapons, sprinting capability, bullets penetrating through thin cover, and smarter teammates and A.I. It’s Vegas Baby! $59.99Split Thumps (Oakley)Leave the wires at home.Listen to music virtually anywhere with speakers that adjust easily and come out when you don’t need them. Control the music with buttons that only you know are there, because they’re seamlessly blended into the Oakley icons. Forget about wires that dangle, snag and tangle, because the age of wires is over. Split THUMP is a total grab-and-go solution that puts your music into something you already take with you, and it comes with the razor sharp clarity and protection of Oakley’s HIGH DEFINITION OPTICS. $ 270.00/512MB, $ 320.00/1GIG, $370.00/2 GIGGrand Theft Auto IV (Multi-platform)Circle April 29th on your calendar for another colossal (or controversial for you CNN viewers) gaming event when GTA 4 explodes onto the Next-Gen consoles.GTA IV reinvents the series with a renewed version of Liberty City (a.k.a. NYC and N.J. detailed to the last pothole and smelly subway station.)Rumour has it, there’s a GTA IV “Special Edition” which includes: Grand Theft Auto IV game, art book, soundtrack audio CD, Rockstar keychain for the safety deposit box keys, and a Rockstar duffel bag. $59.00- $89.00GOD OF WAR: Chains of Olympus (PSP)The Ghost of Sparta is now ordered by the Gods to journey the underworld, after the world plunges into darkness. There he must face the most feared creatures of Greek Mythology and forced to choose between his own personal redemption and saving the ancient world from certain destruction. Tonight, we dine…on the PSP! $39.99
Traditionally, if you want someone to smile, you ask them to “say cheese!” Another sure way to get a crowd to smile: Show Sarah Kaufmann at work. When people see the sensational cheese carvings created by “The Cheese Lady,” smiles just naturally occur.
For information on Sarah Kaufmann Sculptures: www.sarahcheeselady.com
Two decades of refereeing in the NBA isn’t the only story Bob Delaney has to tell. The retired New Jersey state trooper has just published Covert, which should appeal to fans of The Wire, Goodfellas and The Sopranos. But those screen gems tend to leave out detail of the human realities like the post-traumatic stress syndrome Delaney experienced after going undercover for three years and putting over 30 mob men behind bars in the process. It’s a great true crime piece, examining the challenges of one man and his work, and how basketball enabled him to move in a new direction on his own terms, and written in his own words.
What made you want to tell your story?
The criminal gets so many rights, and rightfully so, but the victim is always forgotten about. I had seen victims as a uniformed trooper, and I lived as a victim in my undercover phase. I’ve been a student of victimology for years, and I thought this book would give light to that problem. I’ve also been working with law enforcement officers on undercover operations, exploring the psychological impact of undercover operations. It can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. The undercover operative is one of extremes. It’s the greatest investigative tool law enforcement has, and yet it leaves behind emotional and psychological carnage. Plus, I’ve come to realize that all people who are in life-threatening jobs have gone through a lot of the emotional psychological experience that I also have.
Do you ever have concerns for your own safety?
I don’t think my life is any different from any other law enforcement officer, any cop, or anyone that is involved in putting someone in jail: You never know what retribution may come when they get out of jail. I did have a derth threat in 1977 when I surfaced from doing undercover work and the state police and FBI addressed it. It’s been 30 years since the investigation took place, and this is not news to the people that I arrested, as I’ve testified before them. But, if I went into hiding, the bad guys would have won. You have to go forward and live life.
What’s the most rewarding thing about officiating in the NBA?
Strange as it sounds, it’s a very peaceful and calm experience out on the court, because you focus on the game so intently for those three hours that nothing else in life matters. Whatever else you have going on, you can escape from it.
Want more of this Sweets Watson interview? Check back for the full enchilada and the rest of our Spring issue. Coming soon…
Hot off the heels of his mixtape album; Comeback Season, Aubrey “Drake” Graham has his eyes on the prize but rushes nothing.
He is seemingly Canada’s most commercially viable MC due to his A-List guest spots, polished style, and the convenient fact that countless teenagers watch him wheel around on Degrassi The Next Generation weekly.
If it seems strange that a talented young artist such as this would still be unsigned, that’s because he’s just too clever to be tied down to a label at this point.
He epitomizes the difference between other unsigned artists and a true independent artist. Drake has a refined, marketable approach and when he decides to take this to the next level, it will be on his terms and carefully calculated.
In-between bites of a greasy spoon brunch, we managed to sneak a few words in with this young man to find out where his head is at.
Given the current state of the music industry and lagging record sales, what’s your approach?
I haven’t really felt that yet, I’ve had great success. I’m a true unsigned artist. I’ve leveraged that popularity into being the #1 artist on myspace. Not rushing into anything helps me keep my perspective.
Your 2 vocations are all about delivery, do you think that gives you an edge?
Definitely, and what’s even more important than that is timing. Not just with where to put punchlines, but timing with everything. I’ve learned that through acting. How and when you make a move is so vital.
Which allows you to be more loose?
Music. In acting there’s so much importance on time, and so many more rules. It’s your career on the line if you show up 30 minutes late. In music, it’s almost expected that you’ll be late.
Check our upcoming Spring issue for more. Coming soon…
With an attention to detail and eyes on the road ahead, Eric Obre recently came over to DC to rework their lifestyle
business, fresh off his success at Sole Technology. He found a quiet corner at DC headquarters in Vista, California to share his vision with us.
What is your main focus at DC?
I’m the director for a category called Life, which is the higher end, top of the pyramid category. Life caters exclusively to boutiques and higher-end chain stores. Performance is always on our mind because of our heritage, and because we are using similar tooling, but the design aesthetic operates more on pure looks and comfort and performance.
What is the current direction for Life?
The idea is to apply our design sensibility to the different tiers that we have in that category: Dress, Casual and Sneaker. Dress is a more refined and slimmed down look. Casual would be something along the lines of a Clarks Wallabee. Sneaker is where we look at our heritage of skateboarding and the focus
is on the sneaker culture and we want to be next to iconic shoes in that world. My focus is to rebalance the line, since I felt that it was a little bit too skewed in one direction.
Read more in our upcoming 7th Annual Sneaker Edition coming soon…
Fergie & Joe C say, Happy 49th “Original Kid Rock” Keith Correa AKA Kid Squid (The King of Calamari)
On Monday, Keith Correa, Toronto’s number one Promoter turns 49 years of age. Here’s two shots from the Heller Cam way back in the day. 1st up, Wild Orchid at the long-gone By The Way Cafe’ on Queen West during one of our infamous food reviews. The blonde in his arms is none other than Fergie when she was actually Fergielicious and not couged out beyond belief, or tripped on drugs. 2nd up, a man who has sadly passed, but in his prime had more game than Coleco, Joe C. You may recognize him from touring and appearing alongside Detroit’s Kid Rock AKA Bob. You know, the guy who dubs himself a cowboy…
Many more birthdays Keith, no one does it up like you. Rock on, my friend…
(l-r, Fabio & Grooverider)
In late November 2007, Grooverider was arrested at Dubai International Airport for possession of 2.16 grs of marijuana, hours before a sold-out show at super-club The Lodge. He claimed he had forgotten it was in a pair of his trousers. On February 19 he was sentenced to four years imprisonment followed by immediate deportation.
Sole Technology CEO (Etnies, Es, Emerica, Altamont, Thirty Two) & 11th Hour Executive Producer, Pierre André Senizergues is raising the level of awareness on climate change
In an excerpt from our upcoming issue, Street-wear Editor Ace Six was in contact with Sole Technology CEO Pierre André Senizergues. Aside from being a certified O.G. Champion skater and astute businessman, the man invested his money in the Leonardo DiCaprio narrated film on the state of the environment.
How satisfied are you with the reach of the 11th hour? Do you feel like you’ve raised the level of awareness on climate change?
As far as I am concerned, the 11th hour is more than just a documentary, it is a movement to make positive changes in the environment. This film has helped raise awareness on issues of deforestation, water conservation and very importantly- over consumption. With the DVD coming out in April, it will be used as a tool to educate and keep the movement going. To learn more about this film and help in the effort to make a positive change, visit http://www.11thhouraction.com/
2. Has implementing your sustainability strategy had an impact on your profit margins, either positive or negative? And if negative, is that a price worth paying for reducing the size of your company’s eco-footprint?
Implementing eco-friendly practices into my business is something that I am very passionate about. For me it has all been positive whether it is profitable or not, because the reasons behind becoming sustainable go beyond profit margins. For example, installing our solar panels was very costly and I probably won’t see a return on them for several years, but it was the right thing to do so I put them in. Here at etnies, we have always prided ourselves as a forward thinking company. Before going “green” was cool, we were on board with making these changes because we felt a responsibility to give back.
As individuals, what essential but simple changes can we make to help our planet?
Each person can make small changes to reduce their impact on the environment including recycling, driving an electric or hybrid vehicle and using energy efficient appliances. The most important thing is awareness, once individuals are aware of their actions I think they will take more responsibility to make improvements.
Announcing an exclusive collaboration between LRG (Lifted Research Group) and www.DJShadow.com!!! Furthering a relationship between Shadow and LRG that began in 2006, LRG is proud to offer, for a limited time, part 1 of a 3 part clothing series that will continue through the winter: “The Collaboration Down Jacket.”
Currently being worn by Shadow as he tours the “Hard Sell” show across the frosty east coast of the USA, the jacket is soft, puffy and ultra-warm; the outside is a clean gun-metal grey color, with the DJ Shadow mask, lightning, and DJS logos embroidered discreetly next to the LRG tree logo on the front left chest. The inner lining of the jacket is a collage of DJ Shadow’s album covers (“Endtroducing,” “The Private Press,” “Preemptive Strike,” and “The Outsider”), printed on an ultra-soft fabric for impressive comfort. This is the first DJ Shadow winter jacket to be sold, and only 60 are being made available to customers exclusively at DJ Shadow’s official store: ShopDjShadow.com. Price, at a fraction of retail value: $159.99 USD. Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 to complete your ensemble!
In 2005, Tony Shellman was part of a group that sold Enyce to Liz Clairborne for $114 million. Buzz brand Parish, launching this Spring in Canada, is his new ish. The following is his take on the market for urban brands scaling down to survive.”It’s an even playing field now, since the consumer is no longer striving to say they need a certain brand to represent them. I don’t have to wear Rocawear just to feel thugged out. I don’t have to wear Enyce in order to feel sexy. Whatever the trend, Parish is a product-driven company at the end of the day.”Check our upcoming issue for the full interview.
Today will go down in history as the day Queen & Bathurst died. In a tragic blaze we lost Duke’s, Suspect Video, Jupiter – where will buddy with the tattoos on his face work now?, National Sound and Preloved. By the time summer rolls around construction will have begun on a Home Depot half a block east and the transformation will be complete.
Happy to say no lives lost. Sad to say a friend is only left with the clothes on her back. ‘Nuff said…
Long-time MMA fan, VanCity’s Jay Swing recently spoke with UFC Champion Matt “The Terror” Serra on a number of topics, you will soon be able to read exclusively on this site. Here he is on the war of words with opponent Georges St. Pierre.How do you feel about being listed at a 4-1 underdog?I’m a 4-1 underdog? Well that’s a lot better than last time – what was I a 14-1 underdog or something? It don’t matter to me. All the hype and all the experts – the so called experts – it all means jack to me. What it boils down to is GSP and myself in the cage. That’s what it come down to and that’s all that it comes down to.You two have been having a little bit of a war of words – where did that come from?You know what? It’s funny man. I read an interview where he said he lost all respect for me due to some things I said. Now, you know I have a lot of friends so if you want to become an enemy that’s cool. That’s fine with me. Now, let’s think about this for a second. After that fight I did the right thing, and he did the right thing in the cage. We were both gentleman after that fight. You know, I’m sitting there saying he is the future of the sport. He’s saying I was the better man and that’s really the way it should be. Then you fast forward 4 or 5 weeks later – and I never said a bad thing about the guy ever, I always liked him – you fast forward 4 or 5 weeks later and here he is saying ‘oh well if it was Matt Hughes I wouldn’t have fought but it was Matt Serra and I figured I’d beat this guy easy and I wasn’t really training’. It’s like hey man, before the fight you were sitting there saying how you got to treat me like the number 1 guy in the world. That you were going to take me very seriously and maybe you were going to submit me. You know, he threw some cliches in there like ‘I’m going to fight like I’m the challenger trying to win the belt’ and you’re saying all this stuff and then you lose. So 5 weeks later you start talking about how you didn’t really prepare and how if it was somebody else you wouldn’t have took the fight but you figured you can beat me easy. How do you expect me not to get insulted? How do you expect me not to feel disrespected and how would you not expect me to retaliate? So I hear that and it’s like game on! Okay, I guess we’re not cool anymore dude. You’re gonna discredit what I did? Everybody thought I was walking to my doom and I took care of business like I should, then you gotta go that route with it? And the thing is that after I made some remarks back, you know, he’s making a big deal at the fact I said ‘F’ you Frenchy! Whatever dude. Look, I’m a big movie buff and I watch Talladega Nights a lot… if you didn’t see it you should rent it it will change your life. Did you see it?Yeah – too funny!Great movie man. Will Ferrell. But in the movie he has that battle with the French driver and he’s always calling him ‘Frenchy’. So that’s why that came flying out of my mouth but dude, do I give a rats ass if the guy is French? Please, oh yeah now I’m against the French. C’mon dude, get a life. Here’s the deal. He said he lost all respect for me – I don’t believe him. I think that is what his sports shrink told him to say. His sports shrink laid him down on the couch and said ‘look, this what you need to do to win this fight. You gotta make this guy the enemy’. Basically put Matt Hughes head on my body and if that’s the way he wants to go with is fine, yaknowwhatimean? I’m disappointed in the guy. I used to like him. I don’t think all that was to hype the fight. I believe his sports shrink told him to look at me like the anti-christ so that’s cool.You see I thought it was just because you made fun of Hockey – you know how us Canadians like our hockey!Aw please man! First of all I grew up on Long Island – huge Islanders fan! Second of all, if he told me to eat a meatball hero and go watch Goodfellas I’m not gonna cry myself to sleep, youknowwhati’msaying?!!!
Interview Master, Snides got down to the nitty gritty with number one draft pick, MLS Rookie of the Year, TFC defensive mid-fielder, Maurice Edu on the phone. Locking down and lighting up the field as a member of the US National team with the likes of Jozy Altidore and Freddie Adu, it is said his time in our neck of the woods is short.
With extra global attention being placed on you, it’s going to up your value. There has already been a lot of speculation that you may not make it to the end of the season with Toronto FC. Have transfer possibilities crossed your mind?
When an offer is made I am going to consider it, and talk to the right people. Figure out if that is the right thing for me at that time and then go from there. But, right now, I like the way the things are shaping up and I look forward to this coming season.
Aston Villa’s manager, Martin O’Neill, invited you to come and train with them this year. Did you take him up on the offer?
I wasn’t able to.
Check for the full interview in our Spring issue coming in March…
Peace is proud sponsor of The RZA Canadian Music Week keynote. That’s right, mark down Saturday March 8. On this day The RZA will drop jewels and hopefully some pepper on a rapt audience of those seeking enlightenment.
See www.cmw.net for more info and enjoy this photo shot during his Bobby Digital chapter by Mr. Heller