As technology progresses, so too, must the criminal element.  In a previous article — Shoes on a Wire — we learned that in the urban core, shoes hanging on a wire can indicate the house below sells drugs.  As cities “urbanize” neighborhoods, and the “wire utilities” are taken underground instead of up in the air, the “Shoes on a Wire” semiotic is rendered memeingless.  The new semiotic for selling drugs, according the Vice Cops on Spike TVHD, is “a single shoe” tossed on a roof as exampled in the generic image below.

What is your take on the “Single Shoe on a Roof Theory” and possible drug dealing below the shingles?

Are these single shoes merely misplaced?  Or is there something more unseemly going on here? 

Do shoes always travel in pairs?  Is eyeing a single shoe more obvious and indicatory than a normally sighted pair?

We had a lot of comments on the original “Shoes on a Wire” article.  Some readers didn’t believe shoes on a wire always meant drug dealing was going on beneath the laces.

Have you witnessed a single shoe on a roof?  If so, do you know if that new semiotic is illegally memeingful or not?


  1. As a denizen of this tremendous city, it is difficult to see roofs but I will keep my eyes out for roof shoes. I sometimes see a pair of shoes just sitting on a park bench and wonder what happened to the person who was wearing them.

  2. I have seen one shoe on a rooftop, David. I always thought it was the work of kids in the house messing around. Maybe that’s why it’s such an effective sign? So obvious that it can’t be criminal?

  3. That’s pretty wild, Anne, considering you live in the ‘burbs and not the traditional urban core. You might be right that an innocent single shoe can have great, dark, meaning, when the knowing eye spies it alone.

  4. In fact, they do.
    The places I visit in NJ :
    Highland Park
    Not exactly drug hotbeds 🙂

  5. It’s time for you to get a little grimy, Gordon, so you can do some shoe research for us. Fire up the bicycle and pedal on over to Paterson and start looking for one-shoed drug dealers!

Comments are closed.