New Yorkers revel in virus-fueled gold mine of free street furniture


One man’s trash is another man’s treasure: This spring and summer, the adage rings especially true.

The hotter months were always peak times for Big Apple move-ins and -outs. But standard relocations coupled with apartment purges by those fleeing the city’s COVID-19 outbreak have created a gold mine of curbside gems put out for the taking.

From midcentury furniture to one-off antiques, home decor of the highest caliber has been plentiful — and free — for anyone lucky and quick enough to pluck them off the concrete. (Not to mention strong and canny enough to lug their loot home.)

From March on, as thrift shops and secondhand sellers remained shuttered due to the coronavirus, many New Yorkers came to rely on the informal give-and-take economy known as stooping.

The practice of sharing and snagging discarded freebies has gotten a boost from Instagram accounts dedicated to promoting pieces out on the sidewalk and ripe for the picking, like StoopingNYC and CurbAlertNYC.

The anonymous Brooklyn duo who run StoopingNYC say the pandemic has led to a ballooning following (now at 46,000 and counting) as well as an uptick in submissions for full-apartment furniture dumps as opposed to one-off finds.

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