free stuff

my neighbor lea and i once talked about furnishing an entire nyc apartment using only other peoples garbage.  everyday you can find great stuff that others no longer have a use for, right out on the sidewalk. i love it the most when the people are careful to place their ex-belongings in locations where they will not be urinated on by every passing dog. high atop a mound of garbage, on a window sill or on the steps where it remains safe.  it’s especially considerate when they attach a note that says something like “this tv works perfectly.”   i’ve seen beautiful couches, desks, beds, dressers, book shelves, books, plants, tables, blenders, televisions, mirrors, framed art and everything else one might need to live comfortably. the last weekend of the month is a particularly good time to do sidewalk shopping because the first of the month is moving day. it’s amazing what people can’t take with them to where ever it is that they’re going.  occassionally people will strategically place doggie bags containing their unfinished restaurant meals on top of garbage cans so that a homeless person may eat well that night. 

yesterday there was a unopened box of cereal bars with several packaged granola and meal replacement bars sitting on the front steps to my building when i went out to run some errands. when i returned home an hour later it was gone.  i hope some homeless person felt like they hit the jackpot when they discovered the batch of non-perishables!

i totally understand not wanting to throw away perfectly good stuff and hoping to find someone who has a need for it.

this morning when ivan and i left for our morning walk, we found this:

free food

free food

i always assumed that when the offerings are edible, they are reserved solely for the homeless, even when they are new and unopened.  i couldn’t help but picture the homeless person who was now able to properly dress his big bowl of fresh salad with some tasty thousand island dressing! or the giant smile he would bear while opening a brand new bottle of catsup in anticipation of slathering it all over his hot juicy grilled burger.
       “It’s difficult to believe that people are still starving in this country because food isn’t available”
 – Ronald Regan


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