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Where'd You Get Those?: New York City's Sneaker Culture: 1960-1987 [Hardcover]

Bobbito Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 29 2003
The first of it's kind, the lavishly illustrated and remarkably comprehensive, Where'd You Get Those?, is an insider's account that traces New York City sneaker culture back to its earliest days. Describing how a small and dedicated group of sneaker consumers in the 70s and early 80s proved instrumental in establishing current corporate giants like Nike and Adidas, aficionado Bobbito Garcia writes with the exactitude and affection that only a true believer could bring. While chronicling the rise of sneakers through the lean years of the 60s, the bulk of the book examines sneakers released between the golden years of 1970-1987. Information-packed entries for each model include all of the color combinations available, nicknames of particular models, any relevant athlete endorsement, and (often hilarious) running commentary and stories from a rogues' gallery of fanatics who weigh in on the pros and cons of each sneaker. Via ancillary lifestyle chapters like "Arts and Crafts,"(which details the elaborate process of customizing sneakers ) and "The Sock Hop" (which introduces the unfortunates who had their shoes stolen off their feet, and the sneakers junkies who took them), Where'd You Get Those? examines sneaker culture from every angle. The tome even includes a chapter on New York City's playground basketball legends, the real progenitors of "urban marketing," whose athletic prowess inspired kids on the street to adopt their brands. And in a nod to more recent history, a chapter entitled "Future Undergound Classics" recognizes the models released post-1987 that maintain relevance within an increasingly soulless and money-driven industry. The best secret stores to purchase rare joints, the proper way to care for your kicks, the experts' list of the top ten sneakers of all time--it's all here. Everything you ever wanted to know about the production, distribution, and consumption of sneakers during the seminal years of sneaker culture in New York--the city that set the stage for the worldwide dominance of today's sneaker industry.

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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.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Ah, those were the days... Jan. 1 2004
By F.L.M.
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A Flat-Out Great Book! Nov. 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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5.0 out of 5 stars dsdfafdsa Oct. 12 2003
this book is heat. best book on shoes of all time. it is like a dictionary for shoe lovers.
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