Tuesday, July 21, 2009

where i find something useful

even in denver, i retain my new yoker.ness.

i'm walking when and where i can, ordering food to be delivered and not being too proud to say, "hey, that looks interesting!" when i see something being thrown out.

like any good new yorker, i learned the craft of scanning other people's discards, picking out something that is in great shape and in my taste, and lugging it home. in this manner, i obtained a classic 1940's heavy woven wicker night stand, a beautiful large plant basket, and a 5x7 (yes, 5x7) wool rug handwoven in india in pristine condition from around 1950 that i folded up and schlepped home on the 4 train and then up 5 flights of stairs. the plant basket i left behind in the bronx, the other two pieces are with me still. i know people who have pretty much decorated their entire apartment with stuff found on the street. the upperwest side is a treasure trove... i've seen complete living room suites on the street...the only thing wrong with them was the prior owner changed their decor. one friend of mine who lived in the village had a beautiful sofa that would retail for thousands that she spotted on a curb and immediately sat upon to stake her claim. it took her three hours of dialing everyone she knew from her vantage seat upon said sofa (and telling others it was claimed) before she found a truck, but, find one she did... and now this beautiful leather piece sits in her front room.

yesterday, when i went down to the trash room (oh! how i love trash chutes which mean i don't have to lug my trash outside in all weather!) there was a delicate engraved silver box waiting to be smushed. it's now on my bookcase. not my old bookcase, which is vintage and nice, but, the one i found today that was being tossed out. who tosses out a solid oak six shelf bookcase without a mark on it and all the shelves? well, one person's rubbish is my treasure, and, after struggling to drag it down the hall way and into my loft, it now resides in the 'office' part of the main room.

i guess i can still say ich bein ein new yorker.






and, cue annon to say something they think is terribly clever and cutting about me and how i live. let me say in advance, thanks for still reading!! glad to know i continue to irritate the hell out of you. :)

10 comments:

Solomon said...

I love the image I have of a woman sitting on a sofa in the street shouting "Bitch, get your hands off!" at passers by.

KaraBear said...

I wish there was that much prized trash in Boulder... but college kids, I'd say they can be just as vicious for free stuff as a New Yorker :)

austere said...

No such luck in Mumbai- we use everything till it wears out.

But you can get some GREAT secondhand wood stuff, teak too, in Behrambaug.

coastrat said...

For a few years after we were married, I worked part-time for an auction company, and as a result, we acquired lots of other people's items they didn't want anymore, including a number of crocks and jugs. I knew what they went for, and when the antique dealers weren't there, old Coast Rat made some neat buys! Sort of investing in the future... The kids used to hide in them when they were little.

Harry said...

It's called being green nowadays Quin, you are now trendy. I have picked up perfectly good stuff from allies in California (wrote a story about one such item) and I still will set good stuff by the curb before loading it up to take it to Habitat. Almost always it's gone and I'm saved the the trip. Plus keeping an eye peeled for urban treasure is just fun!

harrietv said...

When I lived and worked in New York, I made $125 a week and thought I was rich. Innocence!

Our town (in Connecticut) has a service that accepts old furniture for places like Habitat. And...they pick it up!

xegbp said...

I too gather discarded stuff. I live in Chicago and it is a wonderful place to find stuff in the back alleys left by dumpsters and in fact there is a whole world of people with pick-up trucks who drive up and down the alleys picking up discarded items. My enitre apartment is furnished with reclaimed items and everyone comments on how beautiful my apartment is, we as a society need to recycle more so you and I are doing our parts. Thanks for the great post.

austere said...

You've been tagged, Miss Quin.

Comply, kindly.

walter conley said...

Hi, Quin.

Love your voice and your blog--which, by the way, reads like you wrote it to the Radiohead CD I'm listening to right now.

Whenever I move, I find myself leaving things I've bought and taking things I've found. Would the former owners be touched or troubled? I have a gorgeous little diary I found at landfill that chronicles a young woman's first time away at school in the early 1940's.

What do you perform from Long Day's Journey? I once had a producer ask me, on the spot, to read an entire screenplay I'd just written. I'm not an actor and my respect for people who can pull off cold readings went up immeasurably. The only plus side? Editing on the fly without him knowing...

Hey, wait a minute. Is this a f*cking comment or a self-absorbed interview by a complete stranger?

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

Good job on finding some nice stuff!