Last Christmas I gave my nephew/godson his first pair of Air Jordans. I picked out a red starter pair at Foot Locker, unsure of whether or not sneakers would be Justin’s thing.

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Didn’t get a good read on his reaction when he opened the box, but word got back to me that Justin valued the shoes. My brother-in-law informed me they had to convince him to actually wear his Jordan’s before he outgrew them, because Justin was preserving the shoes – keeping them in pristine condition. Atta boy. Sign of a future sneakerhead.

I inquired about the kid’s current shoe size, figured Air Jordan’s could become my traditional Christmas gift. My sister suggested taking him to the store so he could try ’em on. Great idea. The day after Christmas he rode with me downtown to The Jordan Store at 32 S. State Street. Figured we might as well go to the Mecca.

Justin spotted the pair he wanted almost immediately. The retail associate couldn’t find ’em in a 7 right off the bat and tried to convince us of a 6.5 or an 8. Too small and too big. We eyed some other options when the guy miraculously found a shelf full of white 7s. Not sure if that was some sort of weird sales technique, pushing less common sizes or just an incomplete initial search. Either way, he laced up the 7s and they fit right.

They were the ones, so I told Justin he could wear them out. Unaware that was an option, he seemed pleased. First Air Jordan shopping experience:

Perhaps there will be a lifetime more in the kid’s future. Sneakerhead?

We went and met his mom and sister and her friend at Latinicity inside Block 37. They were downtown to visit Christkindlmarket, which doesn’t stay open through New Year’s for some reason. Should’ve double-checked the schedule I guess. Latinicity has far superior food, anyway. Great little food hall I used to frequent when I worked at State & Lake. Tacos, seviche, and extraordinary tortas (like this Milanesa de Pollo one I demolished)

Latinicity also has a full bar you can get real comfortable at for happy hour. Key spot to visit in the Loop.

The kids weren’t all that bummed out about the market, my sister took them to the Millenium Park ice skating rink & to visit the new giant Michigan Avenue Starbucks that’s become a major tourist attraction. Biggest Starbucks on Earth, if I’m not mistaken. They got a full downtown Chicago experience.