Did you see these guys sitting and lying on the street Friday night waiting for shoes? I walked by Compound Friday evening and fell into conversation with 12 guys camping out on the street. They turned out not to be the regular downtown homeless, but guys who had set up camp with a bbq grill, folding chairs and sleeping bags to buy the store's only 12 pairs of limited edition Kanye West Air Yeezy shoes. When I talked to them Friday around sunset, the last guy in line said he'd been there since 10AM and was set to wait all the way till Compound opened at noon Saturday. That's 26 hours of sitting/lying/camping on the streets for a fancy pair of shoes.
Unlike the homeless who have to stand when they wait in line for downtown services like meals, the Kanye campers said the police hadn't hassled them at all. An officer did stop by, though, they said, complimented their bbq grill and told them they were fine waiting on the street as long as they didn't lean against Compound's glass window.
Portland Police spokeswoman Mary Wheat has yet to return a call about why the police did not choose to enforce the sit/lie and anti-camping laws against these particular Portlanders. Under the sit/lie, sitting on a chair or structure is technically legal, so some of these guys are within the bizarre law - but others were hanging out on the curb and laid out sleeping bags like they planned to snooze on the sidewalk.