How to find the best New York City store to visit in the summer
Posted On August 3, 2021
It’s a warm summer day at bjs department store, where the staff has a little too much fun, a little bit too often.
I’ve come to see what it’s like to shop with a few friends from the city’s East Village, and as we walk in, we see that they’re all wearing a pair of blue jeans.
I feel a twinge of nostalgia for the days of the bikinis and red-and-white polos, when bjjs, a brand that went out of business in 2015, was one of the hottest summertime hangouts in New York.
The store is nestled into a corner, and we can hear the crowd and the sound of kids chirping as they shop.
“Do you like bjj’s?” one young man asks.
“It’s a very good store,” says another.
“I don’t want to get in trouble, but I can’t say I’m a fan,” replies a third.
All of the young men I talk to have been shopping there for a while, and all have come to love the bjj atmosphere.
“Everyone is very respectful,” says the sales manager.
“The store is small, but they have a big enough space for you to fit in and be in one of those spaces,” she adds.
“They have all these really good bjj classes.”
That sounds like a great idea, but the bj classes are really only open on weekends.
Most of the staff members I spoke to were busy with work, so I asked if I could come in for a short break to get some more free time.
I walk up to a large window in the back of the store, and I can see the crowds outside.
The bjj instructor and her students are teaching a class.
I ask the staff if I can go in, and they all seem to be OK with it.
They all sit down in a circle and talk to each other for a bit, then I walk over to the back, where they are practicing a few moves on my own.
The instructors have me on their laps, and one of them pulls out a small box.
I put it on my lap and put my feet in the air.
“You’re gonna do a backflip,” he tells me.
“You wanna practice?”
“I want to do a side flip,” I say, looking around.
“That’s good,” he says.
The instructor starts playing, and then a small girl jumps onto the instructor’s lap.
“There’s a little boy, so he can practice,” he adds.
The boy is the same age as I am, but he is holding onto his sister’s hand.
“Here, take him to your sister,” he instructs.
The boy starts jumping up and down.
“Now you’re on the ground, I’ll hold onto your leg,” he continues, and the girl grabs his leg.
She lets him go and gets on her knees, but then the instructor continues.
“Get on your back, I’m gonna keep this guy on your lap.”
“That hurts,” I explain.
“Yeah, I know,” he responds.
He then starts practicing another move, which involves getting on his back and then jumping on his sister.
I look over at my sister, who’s now kneeling on her back, and she’s laughing.
“Good,” she says.
I think, Is this going to be okay?
I look at my hand on the counter, and it’s still in the shape of a bjj, but my fingers are completely numb.
It’s time to try it again.
The teacher then says, “Do a sideflip, then.”
“No problem, just do a rear flip,” he explains.
The girl does the reverse.
I’m still on my back, but this time I’m actually on my knees.
The other instructor then says to the other two girls, “Now do a front flip, then.
Then, I want you to get on your knees and hold onto each other’s legs, and just let the other person do a right turn.”
“We’re going to do it like this, then,” I tell them.
I do a reverse backflop, then a frontflip.
Then I do the reverse back flip, and another reverse front flip.
“Just do a left turn,” he replies.
“Okay,” I respond.
I try to get my head up, but it’s a bit difficult.
I can hear some other bjj instructors talking, and when I get to my feet, they’re talking to each one of us about their bjj experience.
One of them says, I didn’t get the chance to do this for real.
He was just teaching for fun.
“No, it was great, he was a great instructor,” the other girl says.
“If you want to take that class, you can do that for free,”