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Where'd You Get Those? New York City's Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987 Hardcover – December 30, 1899


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Hardcover, December 30, 1899
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Testify Books; 1st edition (December 30, 1899)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576871797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576871799
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #625,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Before Nike controlled nearly half of the global sneaker market" and "before yuppies started wearing sneakers with their suits to walk to and from work," sneaker culture was the province of "sneaker fiends" and ball players, Garcia declares in his paean to the lost golden age of streetwise footwear. A cultural critic, journalist and DJ, Garcia waxes nostalgic-in slang, of course-about "the most seminal and coveted joints" from the 1960s through 1987. For each model, Garcia shares color combinations, nicknames, relevant athlete endorsements and quips from fans on each sneaker's pros and cons. With photographs of basketball players on the court and kids breakdancing on city sidewalks, advertisements for Jordache (with Earl "The Pearl" Monroe pitching, "Go One-On-One With... the Jordache Look"), and up-close shots of classic shoes like the Nike Air Force 1 and the Converse All Star, this is a comprehensive, informative study of shoe culture, as well as a hip tribute to icons like Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Ivan Lendl.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From The New Yorker

In the nineteen-seventies, colorful sneakers made by Adidas, Puma, and Nike began to eclipse traditional Converses on the basketball courts and sidewalks, and a fetish was born. In New York City, a fanatical coalition of basketball players, graffiti writers, break-dancers, and rappers devoted themselves to the stylistic possibilities of these shoes, making cults of certain models, coloring and customizing them and devising elaborate lacing patterns. Garcia's book is an anthropological trove, blending autobiography, oral history, vintage ads, grainy shots of urban glamour, and (occasionally too much) loving description of individual sneakers. Though most of the testimony concerns subjective questions of fashion sense, an occasional note of functionality intrudes: praising an Adidas high-top, a graffiti writer says, "If I was bombing the elevated trains I wanted ankle support and Top Tens were ridiculous for that."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By F.L.M. on January 1, 2004
Reading this book is like travelling in a time machine with an expert guide by your side. Bobbito has done an incredible service to those of us who stepped through our New York childhood and adolescence in the 70s and 80s fixated on our sneakers, especially our basketball sneakers. My wife gave me this book for Christmas and I spent much of the day poring through it, absorbing the photos and reliving experiences I had in many of the sneakers Bobbito included in the book. She didn't understand it, but she appreciated my rapture. It was like seeing pictures of dream images--looking at things I never thought I'd see again, as if they had never existed, with memories of games played in particular sneakers, in particular leagues, in particular gyms and parks, with and against particular players in their particular sneakers, flooding back to me. It also brought back memories of the sneakers that I wanted--the Wilson Batas that my cousin had, the $100 red-on-white Indiana addidas Top Tens, the yellow-on-blue Nike Waffles--and the pain of not having them. If any of this sounds strange, or even pathetic, this book may not be for you, but it will thrill the sneakerholic in your life.
But the fun isn't just in the pictures--Bobbito has assembled a crew of not-so-famous commentators on sneaker and basketball culture in New York City. To his credit, Bobbito has arranged their funny, opinionated observations in a way that makes it seem like you're reading the transcript of a barbershop conversation. This "dialogue" makes up the bulk of the text and is as engaging as the photos.
Lastly, Bobbito's introductions to each section of the book are also valuable for their personal honesty and dead-on social observations. Where'd You Get Those? is no exercise in nostalgia. Instead, Bobbito strikes a perfect balance between testimony and critique, which makes the book a valuable piece of cultural history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandro Battaglia on November 3, 2003
Powerful stuff, if you grew up in/around NYC in the early '70s through the mid-'80s. You'll see all the old faves, beautifully categorized and depicted, with extraordinary and completely appropriate attention to detail. Note that this isn't just a picturebook or catalogue, but rather takes the form of an oral history where the participants are a panel of sneaker fiends from way back (propers to 3rd Bass!) The slang (e.g., grips, quiver, slept-on butters) is incredible and infectious, and prone to misuse by people like me. And the shoes? Can't get enough, from Walter Davis's unique Dr. J's to Sake's green half-shells. Message to Bobbito: I've got 3 pairs of Lendl Comp's on ice, tell your friend!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cheyla myatari on September 15, 2003
Long before sneaker contracts were handed out to music stars like Jay Z, 50 Cent, and Nelly with the matched ferocity of those given to sports stars, and basketball shoes were more about function than giving you something cute to wear to your local Wal-Mart, you had New York City Sneaker Culture.
Bobbito Garcia, a Vibe Magazine contributing editor, street ball player and one of the world's most premier sneaker collectors, has chosen to document his obsession and love for one of the origins of the current sneaker phenomenon in his book, "Where'd You Get Those? New York Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987," by compiling testimonies, photographs, and stories on some of the most classic sneaker styles and brands of that era.
Along with the showcasing of timeless sneaker styles like the classic Converse All Star Chuck Taylor, to what Garcia calls "slept on butters" or classics that went unnoticed like the Adidas Achille, and rare gems (limited editions), like the Nike Airship, quotes from collectors such as Mc Serch, Pete Nice, and basketball legend Pee Wee Kirkland, liven up an already exciting book with first hand accounts on what it was to go on the hunt for, style and impress with the perfect shoe.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By sdf on September 14, 2003
where'd you get those is the best sneaker book of all time capturing the essence and soul of basketball and sneakers in the 60s, 70s and 80s in new york city. anyone under 30 might not be able to understand bobbito's views or why sneakers are so important to life. this book shows how sneakers meant unbelievable status in the street and on the court, which is different from today. the uniqueness and passion that occurred during these years made sneaker fanatics hungry for that next fix. thats why every young and old hip hopper, basketball player or sneaker fanatic need this book. you will never put it down.
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