Lame Adventure 305: Look up in the Sky!

It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!

Lamppost at 79th and Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Allow me to defog my glasses …

Are these things going to break loose, fall on my head and knock sense into me?

It’s shoes hanging over a lamppost!

I have a correction to make to my previous post where I shared the trauma of suffering my latest birthday.  When I mentioned that my sister, Dovima, gifted me with a box of See’s dark chocolate, I had not yet opened the box and unbeknownst to me, my x-ray vision was malfunctioning.  Yes, I was assuming there was dark chocolate within, and indeed there was dark chocolate within, but the dark chocolate within was See’s Almond Royals, dark chocolate caramels wrapped around large pieces of almond.  Why am I compelled to mention this?

This is the dark chocolate equivalent of heroin.

Once I start eating them, I need another fix fast.  These buttery sugar bombs are also instant dental death prompting me to invest in a new toothbrush.  While walking up Broadway to do toothbrush shopping, I noticed the hanging sneakers.

Last month I published posts about tree bagging – shopping bags that somehow wind up tangled in the branches of a tree on my block.  Trash in trees is not symbolic of much other than The Big Apple has so much garbage, it can even be found in the trees.

Bag 1 continuing to make itself at home, “The view is outstanding from up here!”

Bag 2 hanging around, “I like this neighborhood. I feel secure in this tree.”

Shoe tossing is an altogether other kind of statement.  Since I’m such a brilliant researcher and I know that the vast majority of you, my nine subscribers, visit this site purely for its vast educational component, I Googled “shoe tossing”.   My results led me straight to Wikipedia.

Apparently shoe tossing is also known as shoe flinging or shoefiti.  It can mean many things including the end of the school year, an upcoming marriage, a practical joke played on someone plastered, someone moving onto bigger and better things, a bullying tactic, an ad that crack and cocaine are sold here (the sneakers can be referred to as “Crack Tennies”), a sign of gang turf, a commemoration of a gang-related murder, etc.

My favorite explanation on Wikipedia is this one:

“Of course, only each individual shoe-thrower knows why his/her pair of shoes now hangs from a wire.”

Manhattan’s Upper West Side can be so banal; one of my long ago acquaintances referred to my ‘hood as being:

Long Ago Acquaintance:  “As dull as Encino.”

Therefore those shoes hanging over that lamppost could simply mean that some chocolate smeared weasel just purchased a new toothbrush.

Unlikely couple — See’s Almond Royals and new toothbrush.

For the record, my sneaker of choice is the Jack Purcell badminton shoe – and I would never wear anything as hideous as those gunboats hanging from that lamppost.

Preferred gunboats not destined for a lamppost.

32 responses to “Lame Adventure 305: Look up in the Sky!

  1. God, I love this post, V! What a hoot! And the chocolate–damn, it sounds like canded-crack. And who the hell knew that “shoe-tossing” was a Wiki-defined activity? That elevates it–so to speak.
    Happy Monday, my friend.


    • Oh, you’ve got that right, Almond Royals are candied-crack indeed! Yes, shoe-tossing is worthy of Wikipedia. Now my hapless (or, hapfull?) readers have it on their radar! Happy Monday back at you, K.


  2. Yes, we occasionally see pairs of shoes hanging from wires here in the UK too, so it looks like it’s an international event. Perhaps it will become a sport in the Olympics. I never realised shoe tossing represented so much, so there’s something else I’ve learned!


    • Stick with reading LA Tom and watch your vast IQ sink like a stone! Apparently shoe tossing is an international anti-phenomenon. “Who’d a thunk it” as a Yank might ask? Thanks for visiting!


  3. You will be seeing more shortly as kids do it when school is over!–The girl on Talk Stoop wears your kind of snakers-Cat Greenlee or something like that!


  4. Snoring Dog Studio

    We don’t have a shoe tree here in Boise. Yet.


  5. Growing up in the Hooterville of NJ (Coytesville USA) we always as kids saw a ratty pair of PF Flyers hanging above as a rite of spring!


    • PF Flyers were my first sneakers! Do you remember the “magic wedge” that made us “run faster, jump higher”? While wearing them with the sleeves of a red smock tied around my neck I ran like lightning through my bedroom with the intention of taking a flying leap into bed, but instead I cleared my bed, and landed on my head on the opposite side and knocked myself out. Consider that one of my earliest Lame Adventures. My father ordered me to close that show before I could give a repeat performance.


  6. Remember Big Fish? I loved that everyone took off their shoes and tossed them before entering the town! Awesome!


  7. Yesssss I need me a pair of PF Flyers!!! Oh I just remembered in a very goofball moment about three years ago when I realized they brought them back I ordered a pair of black hi-top PF Flyers and they are still in my closet! They make me jump higher and run faster still!!!!


  8. I am glad to see a return to the mystery of things hanging from other things. On a less important note, dear LA Woman, I recall reading a much earlier post regarding a super drain cleaner.

    I woke up this morning just before 6 to hear my 17 year-old daughter using my shower. when asked why she reported that her shower was full of standing standing water from the 16 year-old daughter’s 10 pm shower the night before. I stumbled to the tool box (sans spectacles) and retrieved the handy phillips head and mini disposable snake fully expecting to remove a wad of teenage girl hair the size of our adorable 5 year old cavalier from their shower drain. Alas, no hair. Or at least the snake couldn’t reach far enough. To wit, my current dilemma. Could you point me to the posting of said drain cleaner or its name? Thanks. I know you see your blog as more than simple humor, but rather a public service to the 9 faithful followers.


    • Mike, you’re thinking of LA #6, my infamous Pequa post.

      My buddy Milton had a monumental clog that even Pequa could not budge. He got some drain cleaner that was so powerful that I believe it was manufactured by the Pentagon and could annihilate the planet if used improperly. He can’t recall the name of it but since it’s capable of melting skin down to the bone within two seconds, you might want to travel down the Pequa road first or just ask your “helpful hardware” person for his or her advice. My clogs are pretty benign so I’ve always been lucky with Pequa, the Lame Adventures endorsed drain cleaner.


  9. Thank you so much for timely response. I will head to South End Hardware in neighboring Montclair tonite. You might have thought that child # 3 (aka the 16 year-old) would have mentioned something to the effect “hey Dad, the shower won’t drain!” last night around 10 pm. No such luck. I will fill you in on my own lame adventures tomorrow.


    • I cut child #3 slack. When I was 16 I was so self-absorbed the house could have been on fire and I would not have bothered to alert my dad reasoning, “He’ll figure it out.” He always did, as you did, too. Teenagers are jerks. Do fill us in on the status of your plumbing woes!


      • Okay the really anticlimactic truth is that when I got home last night whatever early morning snaking and plunging efforts I made seem to have worked. Shower stall was empty of standing water. However, given the amount of hair products my 2 teenaged daughters use, the residue on the tile was a tad slippery to say the least. So it was off to the supermarket cuz it was late and the hardware store was closed. I paused long a hard in front of the Mr. Plumber with Double Impact box but couldn’t fork over the nearly $9 gimmick since I already had disposable snakes of my own. So I plopped down the more reasonable $5 for the Extra Strength Drano and put a whupp ass on whatever was still living in the pipes.

        One final note, I have to say that left to their own devices teenaged girls will put up with a whole lot of filth. Not only was the drain situation a 2 day event (Oh I forgot to tell you on Tuesday, dad), but the level of mold and mildew these girls will shower in can only be rivaled by the best crack house in East Orange or Hillside NJ. Just sayin…


        • Thanks for sharing. I actually took time away from my usual thoughts about movies, theater, music and sex to wonder how your drain clearing adventure went. Maybe Dad should hire a janitor just to blow torch the coating of soap scum out of their bathroom?


  10. I know you are not a fan of commercials, but there is a current one out for one of the major drain cleaners that is priceless. Woman, mid 30s, in grocery store aisle, reading about the product’s “double impact”. The bottle comes with a red plastic snake and then she goes into a daydream of 2 stud muffins at the door promising to unclog her drain and flush her pipes. Priceless.


  11. I can’t remember the photographer’s name but years ago I remember someone doing a photo essay of shoes and other odd items hanging from trees, lampposts, etc, around the city. I never did understand how/why those things ended up there.

    Meanwhile I still think the Upper West Side is way less bland and boring than the Upper East Side.


  12. Sorry that I am late with this link, but came across this the other day when I was, ahem, working. . No doubt Takeshi is a closet LA reader as he has never (to my knowledge) posted anything here. This is evidenced by the LA-inspired activity that has gotten him in such hot water.


    • Thanks Mike! This is another shining example of great minds thinking alike for my friend and blogger bud Natasia over at Hot Femme recently told me about Takeshi, too. She also thinks this is his personal LA. What a shame he didn’t just hang his bags from the trees on my block. Poor guy! We should start wearing ‘Free Takeshi’ tee shirts. It can replace the ‘Free Keith’ one I loved wearing in the 70s.


  13. As in Keith Partridge or Keith Moon? I can’t seem to remember.


  14. Beatles, sorry. My wife loves Mick though. She attended an Xmas party quite a few years ago where Mick showed up. She still can’t seem to wipe the smile off of her face. I am truly convinced that Richards is among the Un-Dead. The dude has had his system flushed more times than my 2005 Honda Odyssey.


    • Your wife must have been her bliss when Mick hosted SNL last Saturday,not that could have possibly competed with attending a Xmas party where he shows up. That’s E-ticket. Gotta say that Brenda (Keith’s nickname for Mick) was an excellent host. My friend Milton teared up when Mick delivered Kristen Wiig’s sendoff. What a way to make an exit! I love both the Beatles and the Stones.


  15. Yeah, that was a nice way to go out.


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