Matthew Hsu recaps his experience at the adidas Crazy 1 X Compound Gallery event held in Portland, Oregon.
My name is Matthew Hsu – @Hsuperman_18 on Twitter – and yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to adidas Basketball’s Florist City release at Compound Gallery in Portland.
Wall and Lillard were at Compound to promote the release of their floral themed adidas gear. I, being an avid Blazer maniac, and one who missed the release of Lillard’s adidas Crazy 8, felt the need to go because Damian is the best thing to happen to Portland basketball since the ’06 draft. Let us not speak of Brandon Roy or Greg Oden’s knees. Seeing Wall, a rising superstar in the NBA, was just an added bonus.
I took the bus and got to the event at 6pm exactly. I fully expected a long line and wait, and I already knew I was late. I was walking back to the end of the line, which was beginning to pinwheel around the corner, when my friend, who I did not know would be there, stopped me. Lucky for me, as this detail affects the rest of the night. I stood in line for 2.5 hours. Every now and then, I would hear rumors of the items being sold out. I was only there for the autograph and the socks; I only got the autograph. Finally, we get to the door at 8:30pm, and the security guard and another employee stop us cold at the door… like a wall & they shut us out. The event was to be run until 9pm, and at 8:30, there was still a long line inside. It supposedly took 20 minutes to get through the store. The employee yelled repeatedly, “You’re wasting your time if you’re still standing in line!” A few exceptionally vocal customers threatened to take to the internet to boycott Compound for leaving us out in the cold.
My friends and I had the stubbornness in us to stick around, staring at the door. We waited an extra 5 minutes. The employee came back and yelled, “OK, 5 more!” I was almost frozen, from the chilly wind, from my stone dead legs and from excitement. I also had a feeling I would get rushed from behind. I was the third person. We got in, and got the autographs. Our little bit of patience paid off. I am so glad we waited! The only part I didn’t like about this experience was that we were rudely rushed through at the signing table. I think it is bad presentation when the fans can’t even have a second to interact with star athletes. That could have been handled much better.
Long lines are hard to handle, and I hope that someday, a quicker and easier system will be developed so we can avoid standing in lines for long periods of time. I would also have like to at least ask them one question. I understand people’s frustration. Today’s sneaker culture gets crazier with each release. Shoes today are like Pokémon. Gotta catch ‘em all! This was my first experience within this aspect of the sneaker culture. I have to say that people on both sides need to be considerate and understanding of how things work out. We are tired, the employees are tired, and the athletes are tired. Remember, it’s business, and whoever is making the money doesn’t care who is left standing outside.
Huge thanks to DJ Hes (@HesKicks)! I met DJ Hes about 20 minutes before hitting the door. Thanks for stopping by to chat!