R5Realty News and Notes

Market Snapshots and Commentary on Value and Quality of life along the former Main Line of the Pennsylvania Rail Road, up until recently called the R5 Line, and now officially known as the Paoli /Thorndale line. R5Realty runs from Center City Philadelphia through the walkable, Westward outlying Towns & Townships.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Shoe-Flingers.

Shoe-flinging: Can't help Philly, Delco, Lower Merion Home Prices
Not in my neighborhood please. And, ideally, not in any aesthetically pleasing neighborhood, or one with aspirations to be so. I'm talking about shoe-flinging - the tradition of hurling worn out shoes over utility wires where they can remain for many years, until weather decays the laces or someone mercifully cuts them down.

A nice pair of shoes - fitted on the human foot - are pleasing to the senses. Stacked or lined up neatly in the closet, shoes can look good and make a nice sight. Basically, so long as they are being worn as designed, or properly stored, even the most offensive shoes have no business rising to the level of fodder for a real estate blog post.

I realize I'm making a value judgement here. Maybe that makes me a snob. Shoes perform a noble task in protecting our feet from heat, cold, moisture, injury, and exposure to the grime and scum of the streets. If one wants to build a transparent mausoleum to honor the memory of his/her podiatric warriors, be my guest. Please, just do it out of  the sight, smell and senses of your community.

Along with most folks, I associate old shoes with smelly feet and the grime they have tread upon for years. When no longer commissioned for their intended purpose, shoes belong in the recycle or garbage bins. Ultimately, I think most adults, especially property owners, get this:

Old shoes (any shoes for that matter), hanging in a neighborhood, can't help  but communicate that this is a place where dirty ,smelly things exist out of order. 

It's like going to a restaurant and encountering the aroma of flatulence. The restaurant and food may be good, but the experienced is diminished.

My research indicates that shoe-flinging is a long-standing custom that goes back to at least pre-World War II days, if not much longer. The myths and truths of why shoe-flinging did and still does occur are many. 
Some cited explanations and reasons for the practice in residential areas include:

Marking a place of business (usually an illicit business such as drug house or speak-easy), Commemorating an event (such as Moving, Graduating, or just growing up and out of shoes), Delineating a specific milepost or sectional area, Action of a bully or other misguided exuberance on the part of kids or impaired adults.

No matter what the reason for the shoe-flinging, the results are typically long-lasting and unseemly to most. Does anyone like a pair of old sneakers besmirching a sunset of crisp morning sunshine? 

Think twice before engaging in this tradition or allowing young-folk to imbibe. In the long run, it has negative conseququence aeshtetcially. and can't help your real estate values either!
And by all means, be super careful when cutting those flung shoes down from the wires.