Summertime. Heat index in Harlem, NY- 100Â°
Earlier this week, as I journeyed through Harlem and its exhausting heat, I was desperately in need of a cool refreshing treat.Â And there it was, on the corner of 133rd and 8th Ave, heaven. Â Disguised with a classic striped awning, retro color, and design scheme reminiscent of a 1950s ice cream shop was an Italian ice shop called Boulevard Ice. They offer thirteen flavors, including rainbow, cotton candy, and watermelon, all for $1.Â What relief.
Then, as I glanced around the shop, I noticed a gigantic commercial freezer door.Â The door was strange, and I curious, so I asked the cashier if I could go back there. As she smiled and said yes, I found myself already behind the door, within the freezer. The cooling sensation sent my senses into overload.Â As I continued through the doors, I was shocked at what I discovered next.Â A sneaker shop? Word?
The Ballroom, former Nike pop-up shop, same location, received a makeover and was transformed into Nike Basketball Boulevard Ice, part Italian ice shop, part experiential sneaker shop that features the latest and most exclusive Nike Basketball wears.
Once you enter through the freezer door, youâ€™re overwhelmed with the ‘bunker” like appeal. There are no windows or doors leading outside. Â Instead, sneakers are displayed in decorated lockers. Plush leather seats and magazines align a basketball hoop. Â The space even features a design element where sneaker heads can customize Nike Basketball gear. Â And, hardware from the legendary Dyckman Park automatically gives this space street cred.Â Basically, if a sneaker head designed a man cave inspired by hoops, this is what it would look like.Â What an experience.
The atmosphere of Boulevard Ice represents Harlem, the Mecca of urban culture and basketball to the fullest! But, also shows the other boroughs some love through the murals and graphics that line the walls, while paying homage to some of NYCâ€™s hoop legends.Â The temporary flagship shop will feature special edition Battle of the Boroughs Air Force 1s, Hyperfuse 2011, and Hyperdunk 2011.
If you missed last yearâ€™s inaugural Battle of the Boroughs streetball competition, youâ€™ll have a second opportunity to catch the top high school bball players around the city go to work.Â Last year, Queens topped their rivals and earned the honors of hosting this yearâ€™s tourney on August 6 at Corona Park in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
So, head to Boulevard Ice, cop an Italian ice, rep yoâ€™ set, and get your Nike Basketball experience on.
Nike Basketball Boulevard Ice will remain open until September.Â Hereâ€™s the address:
Nike Basketball Boulevard Ice
2490 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
New York, NY 10030
Store Hours: Tuesday-Sunday | 11 am â€“ 7 pm
Here are some pics I snapped during my visit:
Post and photos via @kingsfaberge