This is a new one on me. Here are the sneakers (I still think this is a ludicrous word, but I like it because it sounds mid-20th century to me – maybe I first encountered it in that fantastic book about the Melendy family, Elizabeth Enright’s The Saturdays).
They’re hanging from some kind of cable over Foster Street, Evanston, and this is the view from the Foster Purple Line station, a couple of blocks from our apartment.
When I saw these on Friday I thought: how cute! Clearly an undergraduate jape, but now hanging here rather folornly. I can see how long they stay up as snow falls and watch their deterioration over the seasons.
But then M told me it was a gangland thing. (M, for those of you who don’t know him personally, is from the ghetto.) Which led me to discover a whole world of urban myth about gangland, markers of lost virginity, and places where you can score street drugs.
Only the middle one, I think, has any relevance in Foster St, Evanston. Whatever my dad might believe.