This is probably one of the coolest stories ever. So read it.

This is D3 The Concrete, bringing you fashion from the street.

On a whim, my wife, Dara, hit me with a text. She saw a pair of sneakers on IG that she wanted and I was gleeful. Only problem was that this was NOT a general release. It only would drop in The Big Easy, New Orleans, about 6 hours (!) away from home. We had to make it happen, one way or another.

So, what did we do? We got in Onyx (our 2010s Honda Accord) and we drove off. Going 75 on I-10 East is a BEAST when you want a pair of dope kicks. Some people flew on planes. Some people took buses even. We knew better than that.

6 hours later, we pulled up to the pre-battle station: Cafe Du Monde, a 157 year old NOLA staple, which specializes in serving beignets, a French sweet bread pastry that is usually powdered heavily with confectionary sugar, and served with hot cocoa. It usually is packed deep with customers, but on this early morning, we found it quite empty.

Then, it was go time. We unpacked the trunk of our campout chairs and we sat down at Ground Zero: Sneaker Politics. Now, I have camped out a couple of times: once for the AJ 1 Retro Hi OG “Royals” (open air, outside of Premium Goods) and also for the Nike SB Dunk Hi “Walk The Dog” (in the car with Dara), but this was the first time that it was an open air campout, in front of the store, with the wife. Very riveting.

For starters, there is NO SUCH THING as New Orleans slowing down at night. It simply doesn’t happen. A combination of open container public drinking, music on every street, and food of all sorts, will keep you up all day and night, if you play your cards right (or pull the right slots?). Also, there is NO SUCH THING as getting a proper amount of rest in a campout. It won’t happen. There’s dozing off, there’s catnapping, but there is not a chance of getting all of your proper rest and relaxation. And so, our watch began.

From 1am to about 8am, we waited through the night and early morning. The sun arose and immediately began to punish us with its heat, while the thick moisture from the Mississippi punished us further with her humidity. Nature is brutal. So brutal, that my hacking cough became more violent and frequent as the morning progressed. I needed water and lots of it, but I couldn’t leave because the critical hour was upon us: the 11am opening of Sneaker Politics. After the grueling overnight wait, we were finally asked to stand. So, we did.

Dara and I were each given a number (66 & 67) and were told that we would BOTH be guaranteed a pair of the collaboration from Saucony (pronounced SAW-CO-KNEE, not SUH-CO-KNEE). We were ecstatic, but we were not allowing ourselves to celebrate too quickly: in both other times that Dara and I have camped out, we did NOT get any shoes, through no fault of our own. So, we waited eagerly with baited breath, anticipated the moment when we were allowed to enter into the air-conditioned boutique and make our long-sought after purchase.

Here we are. After 6 hours on the road, plus another 10 in line, we have made it to the front. As always, we made friends in the line: 2 guys from Austin, TX; a couple, a lady from Minnesota and a man, native to the area; another guy who liked runners, who had on a pair of dazzling Hanon x Diadora N.9000 sneakers. What did Dara and I wear to the party? NIKE Zoom Fly runners. Hands down, Sneaker Politics had the BEST line organization of all other campouts, lineups, etc. that I have EVER been a part of. To the hundreds of famished, thirsty souls, who wanted nothing more than the cool taste of a refreshing cup of water, ladies and gentlemen, who were on staff for the day, handed out free bottles of co-branded waters and free beignets to everyone in line.

I could NOT allow this moment to pass without me having met the man behind the brand, Derek Curry, founder and Creative Director of the Sneaker Politics brand. We told him that we were from Houston. He told us that Sneaker Politics is coming… to Dallas. They are also in Austin, which we knew, from our most recent trip to SXSW. Not to mention their locations in Lafayette and Baton Rouge. SP is the place to be, when it comes to sneakers and streetwear in the Deep South.

After grabbing the kicks, some other merch, and some free swag, that we pre-selected on boutique branded order sheets (another PLUS), this is where the story turns… interesting. When we drove from Houston to New Orleans, we did not have a hotel room at all. Dara gets on the phone, texting around to see who we could reach out to. After talking to a friend, we managed to secure a room at a hotel, but not just any old Snooty Fox: it was at the Waldorf Astoria Roosevelt in Downtown NOLA, directly off of Canal Street.

We had to do it.

We had to do it BIG.

Really, really BIG. (Peep the monogram detail of “WA” in the bottom left of the picture above). From LITERALLY sleeping in a chair on the street, to sleeping in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria. Classic rags to riches story. We had the best time ever. All in the span of 48 hours. Once we secured the [shoe]bag, it was time to party:

Linked up with the homie, only known as “Fletch”. That’s all you need to know, but he is kind of a big deal.

To conclude this story of extravagance, NOLA does not own us anything. We had a great time and I learned a great deal: seafood at Deanie’s is manna from Heaven; you have to eat beignets straight out the grease, or they get hard as a brick; beware of girls that wear all red and look like Betty Boop; however, most of all, its always fun to travel with the one you love.