He used to ride the train. Day in, day out, he descended into the caverns of the city, and waited far too long for a journey far too cluttered. The same route, the same crazies, the same stench, the same delays-- the tunnel went on for what seemed like forever. When the commute finally took him above ground, he ascended to a city of contradictions. The Sun, bright and life-giving, yet hidden behind a curtain of dense gray; buildings erected from artistic dreams and desires, yet coated in black; streets and roads of endless possibilities, yet paved with congestion.


There was a place that called his name. Tobago. It wanted him. It softly whispered into the wind, soothing his ears, hoping he'd one day answer. Desperate for a breath of fresh purpose, he left for that place-- a place of better surroundings. When his foot touched the warm, earthen grounds of the island, his eyes opened for the first time in years. The boldness of the houses, each standing proud with a roof of orange and walls of blue. Following the lead of the Sun, the people draped themselves with life-- dispersing their energy to him, and shedding the woes and wearies of the city. Clearly blue and as God intended it, the water caressed his body, soothing the aches and burns of employers, corporate dress codes, and quarterly budget reports.


Tobago wanted him, because it knew he needed it. But, he couldn't stay forever, though tempting it seemed. He had to return to the city. But, if he was going to go back-- back to the same route, the same crazies, the same stench, and the same delays-- he was going to go back with the spice of life.


The blue of the houses, clear waters and the glorious skies of Tobago inspired the design of the NB1 998 sneaker. With every step he takes on the dark, congested streets, a splash of energy infuses those he passes by. Inspired and invigorated by the POW! In his strut, they go out in search of life. They find another place that calls their names and return to the dense gray skies with the essence of their journey all wrapped up in a singular pop of color. A break from the routine. A breath of freedom.


Create your own journey here 

Words by Rich Etienne, Images of me by Jeremy Mitchell