Volume 76, Number 33 | January 10 - 16, 2007

Soho pavement’s been stepped on by blue train shoes

By Lincoln Anderson

Painted blue feet with the letters “C” and “E” in them sprung up on the pavement recently in Soho. No one seems to know who put them there, or why — other than the obvious fact that they point pedestrians to the Spring St. subway station.

Some Sullivan St. residents surveyed last week on the blue prints expressed sentiments ranging from, “Hey, it’s the Village,” to “Annoying.”

Rodolfo, a merchant at Global Table, said he thought the trail could indeed be helpful in directing people to the subway. Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, said a neighbor e-mailed him about a month ago, inquiring about the blue feet and “seemed a bit upset” about it. Sweeney said, at first, he personally thought it might be an illegal sidewalk advertising campaign, like Soho Bloomingdale’s did when it opened a few years ago. But, after seeing the prints, Sweeney guesses it’s an “art project.”

The Alliance director recalled how George Bliss, who used to run the Hub Station pedicab operation on Watts St., some years ago used a contraption to put purple footprints all over the place leading to Bowery Bar, which Bliss complained was noisy and operating under a “loophole.” Prior to that, in the 1980s, Bliss used the device — a metal barrel he rolled on its side — to paint purple footprints leading to Adam Purple’s threatened Garden of Eden on Forsyth St.

Of the new Soho prints, which appear to be stamped or stenciled, Sweeney called them “silliness,” adding, “If someone wants to paint, I have a bathroom that needs a touch up.”

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