Gringo Manaba

Adventuras y Fantasias or Fantastical Adventures


  • September 2004
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Shopper’s Secret

Posted by glasscastle on September 12th, 2004

of the lesser known shopping secrets of Boston is a rundown warehouse
in the industrial zone behind the Boston Medical Center know both colloquially
and officially as "Zapatos".  As the name suggests they
specialize in shoes, although they also feature cut rate hats, sweats,
roller blades, ice skates, socks and occasionally bizarre odd lots of
stuff like dancing soda cans or glow-in-the-dark religious icons.

Although the clientele is largely Latino, many from the nearby Cathedral
Housing Projects, clued in shoppers from as far away as Maine and New York
make it a regular stop on trips to Beantown. The owner is an old Jewish
guy named Abe Shapiro or something, and he must have an in with
the mob, because Zapatos receives massive daily trailerfuls of brand name
merchandise at steep discounts, no questions asked. Most of the merchandise is in perfect condition, leading us to believe someone is knocking off interstate trucks, or pulling an insurance scam.

Shoes and sneakers are separated and thrown into huge bins according
to sex and size. The bin for 10 and a half sneakers, for example, is
about 10 feet on a side and 3 or 4 feet deep. There are several hundred
pairs of Adidas, Nike, New Balance,Puma, Tretorn, Champion, Converse and
lesser known brands, high tops, low tops, canvas, leather and plastic,
one upon the other and just waiting to be dug out and tried on.

Prices are indicated by and arcane code of letters which represent numbers,
so that TE = $15 and ID = $20, etc. On Tuesday, before leaving for Maine
to visit the Dowbrigade Mom, we paid them a visit and left with three
pairs for $55.  We got some new white leather tennis shoes (remember
when all sneakers were called tennis shoes? We are embarassed to admit that we do…) and a pair of bright
blue leather sneakers called 2Pods, for $15 each.  And then we splurged
on a pair of slate gray topsiders, very Preppy, for $25.

Therein lay our downfall.  In a pique of Kennedyesque fashion machismo,
we wore our brand new topsiders without socks, on a stroll down to the
Common Grounds, a local coffee hangout. By the time we got home we had
worn an excruciating raw spot the size of a quarter, directly on our right
Achilles tendon, and have been limping around ever since. To make matters
later that day we stuffed our right sock with rolled up toilet paper
over the oozing sore and tried to play tennis in our new tennis shoes.

We are working on an extended blog posting titled "Why smart people
do incredibly stupid things." Meanwhile, we highly recommend Zapatos
to Boston area shoe shoppers.  It’s located at 90 Wareham St, below
the giant vertical sign reading, appropriately enough, "Zapatos." Stay

One Response to “Shopper’s Secret”

  1. Hans Millard Says:

    sehr gut Saite. Was machen Sie mein Freund?
    keep it up !