Boston’s Best Secret

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By: Connor Lenahan

There’s a wonderful little secret in Boston. A place full of wonder and magic that is hidden in plain sight. And by “wonder” and “magic” I mean sneakers and streetwear.

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Earlier last fall I was reading Complex.com and I ran across a list of the top sneaker boutiques in the world. Curious to see what made the list, I clicked through it. I discovered a little treasure trove through that list. Ranked at #11 was Bodega, a concealed boutique just a few blocks away from my dorm.

Being the perpetually bored and impulsive person I am, I immediately set forth on a mission to find Bodega. The fun part about the store is you have to know what you’re looking for. Unlike any other chain store where there are markings that lead you to the entrance, Bodega is a complete secret.

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It sits right next to a Christian science reading room on Clearway Street. When looking from the outside, it looks like a beaten down convenience store. Upon entering the front door it also looks like a beaten down convenience store. But therein lies the magic. As to not spoil the surprise, there is a secret door that leads not to Narnia but to sneaker heaven. What is a disheveled storefront transforms into a land of hardwood floors and high ceilings. The millisecond I arrived in Bodega I knew I belonged there.

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There are shelves full of Nikes, Jordans, Reeboks, New Balances, Vans, and multiple semi-obscure sneaker companies. This is far from a Foot Locker, there are things here that you literally cannot find elsewhere. That is obviously part of the appeal of Bodega.

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There are racks of t-shirts and hats and beanies all around.

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Cases full of sunglasses and watches appear near the register. Good music continuously fills the room. It’s truly a unique experience unlike any other.

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This shirt is available for purchase there and is everything in the universe.

The best part of the store, at least to me, is the staff. They always look out for their customers. Everyone that works there has been nothing but helpful to me when I’m looking for the latest shoe to grab to impress/anger my friends. They’re great people. I’ve even gone over to Bodega just to hang out with them.

That’s the magic of Bodega. Not just the experience of the secret door, or the upscale shopping, but the atmosphere. It’s homely. That’s why I shout out Bodega whenever I can. When I was named campus cutie back in December I made sure to wear a Bodega brand hoodie for the photo. I have a Bodega sticker on my laptop that has led to scores of people asking me what it stands for or what Bodega is. I tell them the story and they always have the same confused, amazed, excited look on their face.

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Bodega is one of my happiest finds in Boston; something that’s truly fun. Somewhere I love to head over to every once in a while just to check in. Somewhere I love to take friends of mine to see their reactions. My brothers Chase and Cary have been dying to make their maiden pilgrimage since I first visited. When they come to Boston in February they will finally get to see what I see. Until then, I highly suggest visiting Bodega; if only to see the door. But more likely, you’ll find something awesome in there and pick it up. Because really, what’s better than shopping? Nothing. Tomorrow is a Sunday, so if you have time, take a little walk, get some exercise and check out Boston’s best secret.

Connor Lenahan (@ConnorLenahan) is the founder and editor-in-chief of Connorlenahan.com. He is a freshman at Boston University, majoring in journalism. He can be emailed at lenahan@bu.edu