View Full Version : Daily life of Brooklyn Space Broker

March 24th, 2005, 11:14 PM
My blog is http://urbanfoto.blogspot.com
I would love to know what you guys think!!!

March 25th, 2005, 11:34 PM




March 26th, 2005, 12:23 AM
Whats with shoes on a power line? I dont get that?

March 26th, 2005, 07:58 PM
Shoes on telephone lines historically represent an area controlled by a drug dealer.

March 26th, 2005, 08:22 PM
The answer seems to be :
Every reason.
No reason.
No one really knows.

Los Angeles Times
January 30, 1997
By: Mike Clary

What to do with an old pair of sneakers? Just toss them out ... or tie the laces together and toss them over the nearest telephone wire?

As the millennium approaches and many Americans remain preoccupied with world peace, the integrity of political leaders and the high cost of education, others are looking skyward, into the worn soles of high-tops, low-cuts and cross-trainers that have been hung out to die. And they are wondering why.

In small towns and cities all across the United States, used shoes dangle over highways, streets and country roads like footnotes to personal histories, both testament and tribute to the wear and tear of life. In some areas, a phone or power line that has not been festooned with at least one pair of old sneakers is an open invitation.

"We only respond if the shoes cause an outage," says Dale Thomas, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light in Miami. "We rarely get a call. It's not a problem. We just let them rot." So the shoes are not a problem. But they are a puzzle.

The practice of stringing shoes from overhead utility wires is a pop culture phenomenon that has been noted for years in various sections of the country but remains little understood. Sure, theories have been advanced. According to references in various newspapers and magazines, draping overhead wires with worn sneakers is a way gangs mark territory, memorialize a fallen comrade or simply torment or punish someone who can be bullied. Maybe. And maybe shoe-tossing has deep social significance across all social strata. And maybe the practitioners of shoe-tossing obey an informal code that governs whose shoes get tossed, where they are strung up, even how one shoe is knotted to its mate.And there may be preferred slinging techniques, attendant rituals and even a sub-cultural vernacular associated with the activity. Stringing the soles? Kiting the Keds? Airing out the Air Jordans?

Dennis Morales, a Metro-Dade police officer who has worked gang detail in greater Miami, says: "It's not a gang thing here. There is no marking territory, no signal, no power thing. Mostly, it's just childhood pranks and horseplay. I even did it myself when I was a kid."

The fact is, when it comes to slinging shoes over wires, no one seems to know how the practice started, what it means or where it is headed. Try to explore shoe-tossing, by informally surveying some of the nation's leading cultural anthropologists and folklorists by telephone and e-mail, and the mystery only deepens.

Solomon Davidoff, an instructor with the ethnic studies department of Ohio's Bowling Green State University: "I think it's a school-leaving ritual. Everyone likes to make their mark. So they take something that's been a part of their lives in that location, and instead of tossing it out, leave it as a monument to themselves."

Doug Noverr, professor of American thought and language at Michigan State University: "We see it here in East Lansing, especially in student neighborhoods. I think it reflects our throw-away culture. The shoes are always well-worn, never expensive, not worth keeping.
"A physical challenge could be involved. That's why you rarely see just one pair. It may be a competition. You have a few beers, and say, 'Let's go toss some shoes over the wire.'"

Peter Rollins, professor at Oklahoma State University: "Our big thing here recently in the Southwest is displaying boots on fence posts along the highways. This sneaker thing may be an extension of that practice."

Jan Brunvand, professor emeritus at the University of Utah and author of five books on urban myths: "I've seen these shoes and wondered about them. Why do people do it? I have no idea. I think it must be juvenile hijinks."

If so, highwire hijinks occur everywhere. Reports have shoes hanging in Fresno, Calif., Austin, Texas and Tijuana, Mexico. Finally, Moira Smith, a folklorist at the University of Miami: "I remember asking students in a folklore course once what they knew about it, and some
told me that the sneakers went up whenever someone lost their virginity or had a sexual conquest. "But it could be an invented tradition, which is basically a mystery. People do it because they see other people do it. And then people like us start thinking there has to be a reason for it. "Folklore abhors a vacuum. We're not satisfied with the idea that people could do something just because."

But has Smith, or any of the other experts, ever seen anyone throwing
sneakers toward an toward an overhead wire? No.

"So maybe it's aliens."


NY Yankee: It's not done in your hometown?
I think we did it because there were others already there.

March 26th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Most peculiar is that in Long Island City there are a number of wooden shoe cutouts thrown over telephone wires.