We all are looking for our "people." Whether you are a runner, a basketball junkie or a movie enthusiast, we are all in search of our like-minded and hobby-sharing brethren.
Last weekend I stayed in the city - oddly enough, I love a hot summer weekend in New York City when most people in my network leave the city for beaches and greener pastures, leaving me to enjoy my city, my way. I explored a few neighborhoods and stumbled upon Rapha, a cafe turned bike apparel clothing store. While the food looked delicious and the biking gear looked top notch, what excited me most was the number of patrons in the store wearing biking gear and having genuine conversation about their shared love of the sport. From the second I heard the click-clack of the bike cleats, I knew this was a true community center disguised as a retail store.
I'm sure the owner of Rapha set out to make money and create a great retail experience but the deeper importance of Rapha is that it created a defacto community hub for bike enthusiasts to congregate, plan rides, share war-stories and of course upgrade their apparel. These types of retail spaces are the most rewarding.
If you know where to look there are loads of these community driven retail hubs all around the city. Whether it is Jack Rabbit, which has cultivated a phenomenal running club culture while getting you to buy Asics, or Saturdays, for the surfers to find their "urban paradise" or Patagonia if you're looking for a weekend getaway to use your new hanging hammock, there IS a place for you to shop while also feeling connected to your local communities. I encourage you to find your place, with your people within this crazy and enormous city that can otherwise swallow you alive.
*Adventure Cafe is also an aspiring retail adventure hub for adventure apparel, weekend trips and delicious Cold Brew!