Crowd Sourcing: What cool stuff have you found on the curb?

J. wrote yesterday with this suggestion, and it got me remembering a night many moons ago, walking through the streets of Brooklyn Heights with my pal Neil Pages and finding a chair on the street. We did rocks/paper/scissors and I lost so we dragged it back the few blocks to his place. When he eventually got it to the upholsterer, he learned it was a French Louis XVI — stamped on the bottom with something of note — worth $5k. If he had had the pair, it would have been a major pay day.

So: comment here with the cool stuff you have found on the streets of Tribeca. To start us off, J. said she scored a 1930s wood-cabinet radio about 4 feet high. I have a set of office drawers and a coffee table that came off Warren Street. Jolene Howard found an original Dee Dee, albeit after the artist left a couple clues on where to find it. And The Times has a story today about the pandemic turning into the golden age of street finds.

You can also send notes and pictures to



  1. Beware. It is also a new “golden age” of bedbugs!

    Per the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:

    * Learn how to recognize bed bugs and their markings (blood stains, shed skins and droppings).

    * Thoroughly inspect every item you receive before mixing it with your other belongings, using the tips that follow.


    * Never bring bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street into your home.

    Most bed bugs in infested homes are found in mattresses and box springs. Don’t accept or buy used mattresses or box springs unless you are sure they have been reconditioned and sanitized. Thoroughly check bed frames and head boards. Wood beds (especially captain’s beds) and head boards (especially wicker) may harbor more bed bugs than those made of metal. Bed bugs can also hide in metal and plastic crevices and in places where a mattress touches a metal frame. Inspect all seams. Look inside folds and under buttons, furniture staples and tacks. If the mattress or box spring is covered in vinyl plastic, look inside seams and rips.If you accept or purchase a second-hand bed, inspect it thoroughly as described above and cover the mattress and box spring with a zippered encasement. Leave the cover on for at least a year. Inspect the cover regularly, and repair rips or tears immediately.


    * Avoid damaged furniture. Holes and cracks give bed bugs a place to enter and hide.

    * Inspect furniture thoroughly before you bring it into your home. A flashlight and a magnifying glass will help.

    * Check upholstered furniture for rips and tears where bed bugs could enter. Examine seams and linings carefully. Remove cushions and check the underside and back.

    * Check all surfaces, including screw and nail holes. Remove drawers and check all corners, cracks, crevices, seams and joints as well as the back and underside.

    * Check for bed bugs in cracks and crevices with a putty knife or an old card.


    * Bed bugs can hitch a ride on luggage, especially soft-fabric bags.

    * Check all linings, folds and seams. Look under straps and along the edge of zippers. If possible (depending on the material) run soft luggage through a hot dryer to kill bed bugs.

    * Or use a hand-held blow dryer to heat the seams


    * Examine the backs of paintings and picture frames for black or brown spots that could be signs of bed bugs.

    * Avoid porous and ornate frames. Choose solid wood and mark-free frames instead.


    * Kitchen appliances, sporting goods, electronics and other household items are not prime locations for bed bugs, but you should still examine them.

    * Pay special attention to items that have been kept in bedrooms.

  2. Ok, you guys just took all the fun out of this post.

  3. It is a fun post with curb alerts. I posted pics of what I found on the curb on Buy Nothing Tribeca group on Facebook. There are two Buy Nothing groups on Facebook for our area: Buy Nothing Tribeca and Buy nothing Fidi/BPC.

  4. The apple does not fall far from the tree … when my daughter spotted a big colorful canvas on our walk home from the EV she asked me if we could bring it home. I said, “Sure, why not? Years from now, you can say you started your art collection with a piece you discovered in SoHo.”

  5. Fun question! My best finds were a water table for toddlers and Tripp Trapp high chair – both in perfect condition. I also once found two beautifully made, sturdy vintage wooden chairs. I couldn’t use them so a neighbor picked them up. Glad to know about the Buy Nothing groups – thanks TribecaMom!

  6. Okay, it was about 15 years ago…but I found two Mies van der Rohe flat bar Brno chairs out on the sidewalk near John and Gold Streets, complete with stickers from Knoll certifying them as authentic. Took them home (they weighed a ton!), had them reupholstered in leather (and bent a little so they weren’t crooked anymore) and they’re sitting in my office right now. According to some construction guys about to toss them in a dumpster, they were doing interior demolition, converting old offices into apartments, and these were in someone’s conference room. Yay!

    • Oh my gosh, you are reminding me of my favorite find: just a couple years ago I was walking in Hudson River Park near Chambers and I saw a boy on a Citi Bike towing another boy as he sat in a white Herman Miller Sayl chair. When they came back the other way I flagged them down and offered them $30 for the chair. Needed new casters and new arm pads, but my husband is sitting in it right now. Plus it came with a tow rope.