More than one proud resident of the Big Apple has started out by scouring the streets for discarded furniture, lamps and rugs in days not long past. Even some well-to-do folks glommed onto items of considerable value, whether artworks or designer products.
I was reminded of this phenomenon the other day–truthfully, it was more like two weeks ago–while watching from my first-floor window on Manhattan’s Upper West Side just as my building’s super lugged a table, chair and other furniture to the curb for pickup. Before the table hit the cement, a neatly dressed man and his son claimed ownership by draping themselves over the goods as several passersby cast an envious eye on them.
Amused and concerned–about which more in a moment–I saw him on his cell phone, obviously negotiating transportation. In about half an hour’s time, a woman who appeared to be his wife, partner or girlfriend arrived in a pickup truck, and the loading of the three or four items ensued.
I wouldn’t do that, and neither should you.
Bedbugs, right? They thrive through travel, hitching rides on anything from luggage to, uh, beds.
When I discussed the situation with my doorman, he said the couple planned to refinish the furniture and would be safe from the bloodsuckers. I hope so.
Serendipitously, I came across a useful piece in Time Out New York, which offered experts’ advice on street furniture as well as suggestions how the buyers of co-ops and condos might learn whether their new apartment is at risk. BrickUnderground also keeps up to date on this itchy issue. And New York magazine’s latest issue has a terrific long “takeout” on bedbugs.
Of course, you never can be sure. But I know from experience, after vacationing in Paris a few years ago, that three bites in a line is indisputable evidence that you have a problem. What wasn’t immediately clear to me then was whether the bedbugs had decided to vacation in New York.
I decided to wait and see before throwing things away, doing endless loads of laundry and spending a fortune on extermination, never mind buying new almost everything.
Luckily, it turned out that all the biting occurred in France, of which I say “Viva la. . .” Of course, I exempt the maddening critters.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022