You Call It Bed Bug Bait, I Call It a Sidewalk Treasure

Side TableWe were walking home from the ice-cream place -- my younger daughter in the double stroller, my stepsons walking along beside her, and my older daughter in my husband’s arms, about half a block back because she wanted to WALK! And then have UPPIES! And then WALK! And then have UPPIES!

We passed an interesting-looking end-table. “Free!” said a neatly-markered sign placed on top. My stepkids didn’t skip a beat. “Do you want to try to put that in the stroller?” Max asked, as my husband slowly shook his head, knowing exactly what was happening.

The sidewalk bandit was striking again.


Before you ask, the answer is yes: I am paranoid about bedbugs. And I am probably kidding myself that a careful inspection, and a refusal to take home anything upholstered, will keep me safe. But I can’t resist sidewalk finds!

The side table was definitely my best find. And I am still haunted by a set of brightly-colored plastic shelves that I missed because I was late picking Penny up from nursery school. But the amazing bouquet of peacock feathers sure came in handy for our last rainy-day craft project!

Of course, back in Brooklyn, it wasn’t so catch-as-catch-can. We had regular “big garbage” pickup days and knew that if you drove around early on the right morning, you’d find all sorts of treasures ripe for the picking. (This was in the days before the Craigslist Free section and Freecycle, of course.) That’s how I scored my vintage kitchen cabinet, an amazing dining-room table, and a stunning chest of drawers.

But I’ve done all right here, without even trying. Of course I still wish I had been just a touch later and picked up those colorful shelves. But there’s always next time ...

Diaper Storage Solved
Have you made some great sidewalk finds? Is this strictly an urban phenomenon? Does the word “free” fill you with joy?

Images via Amy Keyishian

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