New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Real? Fake? Why?

No one really knows why people throw up their old sneakers over the lamp posts in NYC (and beyond). People have read a lot into it, projecting fears and leading to urban myths, but now the meaning of sneaker throwing has changed - artists have begun making very realistic wooden replicas of sneakers and throwing them up all over the city and all over the world, for that matter. Apparently, all other forms of street art such as graffiti and stickers have been done, so the only thing left was this gesture (these were at the corner of St. Marks Place and 1st Ave. in the East Village.) So we are left to wonder, are those real sneakers up there, and what does it all really mean, anyway? Probably just further evidence of youthful exuberance...

19 comments:

Kris said...

it makes an interesting photo though :)

Sam said...

LOL - it's a kid thing.
What comes up....and never comes down?

Cooked spaghetti on the ceiling, and sneakers tied together and thrown over a lamp post!

Vancouver Daily Photo said...

Interesting city art.

Lisi said...

haha...very interesting...

grainofsand said...

interesting to know. I never saw such till now.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I was told by teenagers that it meant "drugs are sold here".
Perhaps it is one of those things that has more meanings now, but I always saw it as a "degeneration of the neighborhood" indicator.
Chris

Brian said...

The article link in "the Villager" newspaper does an indepth look at this, and it turns out that the drug dealer thing is urban myth, along with some other, potentially more personal meanings that were said to be going on. It's cool though that it's become something so iconic that people are actually making replicas and mimicing the actions of throwing up the sneakers like a ritual, and also dismaying that commerical interests are trying to use it as advertising, the Red Bull soft drink makers putting them up there, too. Pretty funny, we thought you would enjoy it, I had often wondered what the real story was...

midnitebara said...

hahaha, I'd love to see those personally!

dutchie said...

Great story and funny shot!

Adrian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adrian said...

We've had shoes thrown on electricity cables in Cork as well. But I don't think anyone attached any particular meanings to them. I quite like the idea of shoes meaning that someone lost their virginity there. Could either be quite romantic or sad, depending on the location.

Rodney said...

Nice shot! When I was a kid it meant kids were bored and needed something to do.

Ione said...

Kids to the same here in São Paulo... Weird, huh?

Ione said...

woops, "do" the same.

Anonymous said...

People throw sneakers over the phone lines to celebrate sports victories.

Anonymous said...

People throw sneakers over the phone lines to celebrate sports victories.

Suz said...

This is interesting. I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and lived there in the early 70s to 80s. I am curious how long ago this tradition has been going. I remember it being something mean-spirited, for sure. It would be nice if there were more positive associations with it! :)

Anonymous said...

as far as i know it means "drugs are sold here!!!"

sqweakygurl said...

I lived in fort Green projects in Brooklyn for most of my life and when i was kid, they used to throw up sneakers for the ones who were murdered or killed in that certain place, as a memorial. It may seem sinister but to me it was just apart of life, i never saw it as anything else, but it's very interesting to see what others think about it.