I always thought that shoes are hanging on the wires were a cool fad until I learned something different.
In many communities, one can see a pair of shoes swinging on power lines. This practice is called shoe tossing, and it is often spotted in urban areas or college neighborhoods throughout the world. There is no universal meaning for shoes hanging on power lines, but one is able to interpret the message depending on the location of the shoes. Some youth perform shoe tossing simply because they have witnessed others do it. For others, it is a symbol of a prime drug-dealing location, gang representation or death.
When shoes are hanging from telephone wires in an intersection, it is sometimes a sign that gang members are claiming the premises for themselves. It is also a symbol used to indicate hot spots for addicts to purchase the drugs they are looking for. The sudden death of a popular youth in the community often causes friends or family members to perform shoe tossing in a loved one’s honor.
So I’m not sure what that means for when I saw the sneakers swinging on the wires at Mabel Davis District Park. I am hoping its not about drugs. There is a skate park, a playground and the swimming pool.