I was in Manhattan last week for Converse’s celebration of the 35th anniversary of Rick Telander’s playground basketball classic, Heaven is a Playground.

Converse 'Heavan is a Playground' Celebration

The "Converse Energy Space" in Lower Manhattan.

Converse is sponsoring an exhibit of photographs from the book, and others that were unpublished, at their downtown “Converse Energy Space” on Orchard Street (between Delancey and Rivington), through January 11, 2010.

The photographs in the exhibit are great, and will take you right back to the ’70s.

At the party, they had Bobbito on the mic and DJ Rich Medina on the turntables.

It was fun, the music was fun, the people were fun.  Inspiring, actually.

They brought back many of the playground ballers who were originally featured in the book.

I happened to be standing right behind the set up when they asked Telander to say a few words.

All I could do was whip out my iPhone to get a few pics.

Converse 'Heavan is a Playground' Celebration

Rick Telander reading a few words about his experiences writing the book, at Converse's 'Heaven is a Playground' Celebration.

Converse 'Heavan is a Playground' Celebration

One of several vintage basketball shoes on display.

Converse 'Heavan is a Playground' Celebration

Lionel Salaam (a.k.a. Lionel Worrell) next to his photograph that appears in the book.

Converse 'Heavan is a Playground' Celebration

The space from outside.

Here are some more professional looking photos, and some more in a fine gallery here, and some editorial coverage of the event in this article in SLAM, and in this piece in the Chicago Sun Times.

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