People Share What They Found Thrown Away And The Phrase ‘One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure’ Has Never Been So Real (40 New Pics)
It's called stooping, and it's how people get secondhand furniture from New York City curbs for free. Basically, it goes like this: someone who no longer needs their old mid-century coffee table puts it on the sidewalk in front of their home and anyone who might find it useful can simply pick it up.
Stooping is a longtime tradition but in the summer of 2019, it got a modern twist when a couple from Brooklyn created an Instagram account to help castaways find their new owners. Without overthinking, they called it Stooping NYC and started sharing everything the streets had to offer.
Loyal Bored Panda readers should remember this online project since we've already written about it here, here, and here. However, it just hit a huge milestone: 250K followers. So we thought it's a nice occasion to pay them another visit.
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"Stooping has been around in NYC long before [our Instagram account], and we think that the concept is so relevant to the city because of what it means to life in the city itself," the couple behind the account, who want to remain anonymous, told Bored Panda.
"People move so frequently, no apartment is ever really the same, the transient nature of New York... all of that means that people are always looking for new furniture, or hoping to get rid of what they have. The act of stooping has seemingly become the New York version of 'paying it forward.'"
As the couple highlighted in one of our earlier conversations, hosting stooping on social media not only means that the locals have a much better chance to find what they need, but it also allows to 'export' a part of the city to outsiders, allowing them to have a digital walk through the neighborhoods.
"It gives access to a piece of New York City culture to people who follow from far and wide," they explained back then.
"It also has enabled us to 'gameify' stooping, with stoopers sharing stories of things they spot, stoop, take home, and ultimately give new life to. It would really be challenging to tell stories around the pieces like we do on any other platform."
The couple behind the account also said that one NYC area in particular is stooping a lot more than the others.
"Brooklyn is by far the most active stooping borough, but there are a ton of stoops that we get daily from all pockets of the five boroughs, Jersey and even Long Island!"
Stoopers are excited about a lot of things, running the spectrum from essential apartment features like bookshelves and kitchen islands to valuable treasures, such as beanie baby collections and pianos, and beyond. Plus, they also make sure that no plant ends its days on concrete!
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If you also want to try your luck hunting these gems, the couple said you should, "1) Follow @stoopingnyc on IG; 2) Turn on your notifications; and 3) Get ready to run when you see something you like! Things go quickly."
Covid has had an impact on the stooping culture too. At the start of the pandemic when there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding health and safety protocols, the couple refrained from posting. But once they started up again in the summer, they were flooded with a wave of submissions caused by New Yorkers leaving the city.
"In a moment in time when good news can seem few and far between, we continue to feel so lucky to have such a positive and wonderful community of stoopers that are focused on sharing with each other!" they added.