I've long been fascinated, and mystified, by mob mentality. Is three losses to the Magic all that separated us from a lifeless downtown and smashing conch shells outside Staples Center?
Apparently so. In the aftermath of the Lakers' championship, the Holy Grail specialty sneaker store was singled out by rioters. The behavior of the crowd was maddeningly irrational and destructive: A nearby deli and tattoo parlor escaped damage, but some sneakers from the Holy Grail — collectors' items, by the way — had been set on fire in the street. Less than an hour after the end of Game 5, the Holy Grail was destroyed.
Proprietor Richard Torres suffered $140,000 in loss and damage, which he expects insurance to cover. Still, some of his prized items, like a $5,000 pair of 1985 Air Jordans, are gone forever. "It makes me not want to be a basketball fan," he told the LA Times. Nonetheless, Torres is forging ahead, having just reopened for business, and his official website should eventually be able to take orders again. (Currently, it can only accept PayPal donations.)
So if you're in the neighborhood of the Staples Center, give the Holy Grail a visit. (They're also looking for sneakers to sell on consignment.) A fundraiser is apparently being organized to help outfit the store with a roll-down security door, which will hopefully be installed by October, hint hint. L.A. sports fanatics may have buried the Holy Grail, but hopefully true L.A. sports fans will help it get found again.
The Holy Grail
604 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
THE HUNDREDS : THE HOLY GRAIL. (YouTube)
photo 1 from The Hundreds; photo 3 by Ken Hively/LA Times