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City Blue

City Blue is an East Coast chain, and walking into the downtown branch, next to House of Blues, immediately conjures images of urban New York. It's well stocked with oversize, tacky hip-hop T-shirts and jeans, and, in the back, a nice selection of hard-to-find Nikes. The origin of these sneakers seems sketchy -- why are they all shrink-wrapped? -- but they look and smell like the real thing. Most of the pairs are moderately discounted, ranging from $60 for primary-colored Air Force 1s to $100 for rare new models -- replete with fake snake skin, for example -- that Foot Locker won't carry. Dennis Rodman billboards paper the back wall, rap plays on the speakers, and an Israeli guy named "Z" manages. It all gives City Blue a bustling, urban feel -- despite that giant crater that used to be Euclid Avenue lurking outside.


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