How To Score Free Furniture (& Other Cool Stuff!)

Photographed by Amy Lombard.
When I moved to New York City several years ago, my greatest surprise was not how great the bagels really are (they're amazing) or the unprecedented friendliness of the locals (sometimes). No, it was something I discovered on trash day eve: People get rid of good shit. Like, Eames-chair good. Because even the worst hoarders can only further their addiction as far their square footage allows — which, in NYC, is not very far at all.

I was certainly no newbie to street scavenging when I landed in Brooklyn — my addiction to the hunt has always been deep-rooted. But I quickly realized New York was a whole different ball game with its own unique surprises and challenges. You have to be willing to dig, identify potential finds, and know when to back away. Bringing bed bugs, mold, or rotting wood into your place is no joke.

Ahead, all the tricks I've learned for identifying prime street pieces and some words of caution. Tell us about your greatest street find in the comments below.