Hogtown Lowdown Sneakers In The Sky
Steve Murray, National Post Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008
Q: I've heard that running shoes hanging on power lines means "drugs sold near here." Is that really true? Because I've seen a LOT of shoes around town. -- Martha Tomas
A: "I've heard that before, but I'd say it's more of an urban legend." So declares Det. Const. Brian Kay of the Toronto Police Department's drug squad. Case closed! Which is a shame, really. I was hoping that it was an elaborate system where different shoes mean different things.
Like red Nikes mean uppers and cowboy boots mean chewing tobacco. Could there be another reason for the sneakers, then? Case reopened! I contacted cartoonist Dean Haspiel, whose webcomic Street Code deals with his experiences living in Brooklyn and features shoes hanging from a wire on the first page. "I've heard the drug thing before,"
Haspiel says. "But I've always seen the sneakers as a territorial thing, a warning to people that don't live in the neighbourhood." Another urban legend? Regardless, don't hand anyone your shoes, even if they ask really nicely.