Seriously: my girlfriend and I adopt a dog and, like, the next day we’re walking him to Prospect Park and we find a copy of The Adopted Dog Bible left for the taking on somebody’s stoop. We’ve only been living in Park Slope for a few months and already we’ve snagged our share of stoop swag, including a nice sweater, a hardback The End of the Affair and paperback copies of A Gate at the Stairs and Nickle and Dimed. The stuff we’ve left unclaimed could furnish an apartment, from tchotchkes to children’s toys to kitchen ware to furniture. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, and there has always been the lucky chance you’ll come across a collection of good books in a neighbor’s trash. But in Bay Ridge, it happened with the same frequency you come across an unclaimed twenty-dollar bill. In Park Slope, it’s, like, guaranteed: the streets are an informal, never-ending swap meet.
A Tumblr, Junk Slope, has been chronicling some of this giveaway since September: the piles of clothes, the marketing textbooks, bike helmets, sneakers, sofas, stacks of VHS and cardboard boxes of books. Every neighborhood has its garbage. But because of the level of wealth in the Slope, their trash is an everyman’s treasure.