Everyone across the nation has seen a pair of shoes hanging from a power line or a telephone pole, but no one knows for sure why they are there, could they possibly have some deeper meaning or was it simply just for fun? Due to the widespread phenomena of “shoefiti” (the name established for this act) various speculations as to why the shoes are strung up have arisen, ranging from marking gang territory/drug dealing spots to a simple rite of passage or a tradition. Often through its use in media it shows a state of urban deterioration or decay, but never have the shoes been given a solid meaning. Most of the anonymity surrounding the meaning of shoefiti is caused by the widespread occurrences that still are seemingly random, once more and more shoes become stockpiled into a location, shoefiti can become a cultural emblem or almost like a public work of art for the surrounding area. For example, the “shoe tree” that was once located in balboa park, before heavy rainfall caused the tree to fall down. This dead eucalyptus tree had been covered by hundreds upon hundreds of shoes, giving the tree an odd, lively appearance to it. The tree had gained so much notoriety that it had even made its way onto travel sights as one of the things to see in San Diego, it was considered a small cultural icon. http://mugmud.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/01/09/shoe_treejpg.jpg Although the meaning behind Throwing ones shoes may never be discovered, its widespread popularity has made it a huge cultural icon for the entire nation, Both for urban and desolate areas.

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