Tag Archives: converse

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.

Lame Adventure 176: New Season, New Sneakers

Today is Monday.  The forecast looks very good with temperatures reaching close to 80.  This is the first day in 2011 I will not wear corduroy, denim, down, or my trademark motorcycle boots.

I will come to the office clad in a wet suit and swim fins.

Actually, as the weather warms, I will switch gears to lighter weight cotton and my other trademark, my Jack Purcell sneakers.  Unlike my female friends, I am a creature of repeated sartorial habits year in and year out, another word for my personal style that is anti-style.  Women never compliment what I wear, but often guys do, and not because they think what I wear is smoking hot, but because they see themselves wearing what I wear.  My taste in clothes is straight out of the Larry David Collection.

My fashion guru. What's not to like?

As with many people with little taste in clothes I am borderline insane when it comes to sneakers.  My sneaker of choice is the Jack Purcell, designed in 1935 by the Canadian world champion badminton player, named yes, Jack Purcell.

Jack Purcell, badminton dynamo.

Therefore, my sneakers are technically badminton shoes.  Badminton is a sport I know next to nothing about other than it’s played with what looks like dwarf tennis rackets used to smack shuttlecocks.  I seem to recall getting countless toy badminton rackets with plastic shuttlecocks as well as croquet mallets as a kid.  I was infinitely more interested in football and baseball, so I left this plethora of obscure sports toys in a pile.  Looking back, my mother probably saw the $3 price of a baseball bat and compared it to the pile of on sale $1 shuttlecocks and reasoned:

My Mother Reasoning: Let’s save ourselves two bucks and get her the shuttlecock.  She’ll never know the difference.

This is a precise illustration of what my mother thought of any of my actual interests.  Possibly, in a moment of motherly delusion, she envisioned me playing a graceful game of shuttlecock in a flannel gown with my sister, Dovima, and a third female, a nice dull drone of her choosing, not anything like the foul mouth, smart, tough chicks I’ve been drawn to like metal to magnet my entire life.

My mother's two fantasy daughters and possibly my brother in drag.

Meanwhile, with scenes of gentility playing on the Viewmaster in my mother’s head, the real me was aggressively whacking golf balls off the walls throughout our house with a rusty discarded five iron my father found in the bushes during a golf outing that doubled as a business meeting.  My demanding mother and grandmother forbade my natural athlete father from playing golf, but they had no control of what he did in the bushes.  He was free to find balls and clubs for my playmate, my brother, Axel, the mastermind that designed a golf course out of the layout of our home, and me.

The bathroom was the sand trap.

My mother, coincidentally, was the consummate clotheshorse and the most perfectly coiffed, made up, and put together person this side of Grace Kelly.  Imagine her dismay had she lived long enough to know that the fruit of her loins is a Larry David Collection acolyte.  Something I did inherit from my mother was a penchant for quality.  She instilled in me, “Don’t buy crap.”

With spring approaching, I needed a new pair of Jack Purcells and was going to apply some of my tax return funds in this direction.  What I wanted was shoes in brown leather, but apparently, that model has been discontinued.  Dismayed, I checked out the Jack Purcell web site and much to my delight found the “Design Your Own” option allowing the customer to design his or her own sneaker in cloth for $70 or leather for $75.  Leather color choices included brown.

Therefore, with a few computer clicks I was able to create the boring sneaker of my dreams.  A sneaker worthy of the Larry David Collection.


Upon opening the box, I was briefly overwhelmed by a toxic chemical smell that was so strong I momentarily blacked out, but fortunately, I keep my window open all year round, so the smell quickly dissipated and I regained consciousness.

Ta da!

They left off your blandness.

Gun boats!