Last week’s image, which showed two pairs of sneakers dangling from overhead utility lines, offered little in the way of reference points. Still, one keen-eyed reader was able to correctly identify it.

But first, another reader expressed concern that there’s a nefarious symbolism to sneakers in overhead wires — that they designate a place to buy illegal drugs or a spot where a gang shooting has taken place, she said.

This was news to us here at Where Central, because we’ve seen innumerable instances of dangling footwear where such an explanation was quite unlikely.

After a bit of research, it seems safe to say there’s little substantive, as opposed to conjectural, support for what appears to be an urban legend. In fact, there’s ample reporting that debunks the theory, including the following, which appeared in a New York Times article that appeared on November 15, 2005:


And while this is also less than definitive, we also came across an intriguing study by a pair of elementary-school students at the Londonderry School in Harrisburg, Pa. who used crime mapping and Global Positioning System data to throw some cold water on the gangs-and-drugs myth as it pertains to their city.

This may also: our photo was taken at East River Road and Ward Lane in Rumson, as reader Joanne Soper recognized.

Thanks to Joanne, Mark Molzon and Donald Patterson for writing in.

If you think you know the location of this week’s shot, please send us an email.

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