Today, while running around Jamestown, North Dakota, people were out and about hitching boats to trucks, riding bikes, planting gardens, and collecting items from the sides of the streets. Jamestown, which I've come to know quite well after 4 years of artist-in-residencies, has a love for garage sales, auctions, antiques and hoarding. Someone told me the storage rentals per capita ratio was higher in Jamestown than most places in the world. I believe it.
Each time the weather gets nice, it was beautiful today, the people come out in droves. One the the most important activity is hitching a massive trailer to the back of your car or truck and then browsing the sidewalks for furniture, and other items people are throwing out. I watched at least 10 separate groups scouring the town collecting things, as people brought their unwanted items to the curb. What I want to know is if this is a common practice in America, or in the world? At the first sign of nice weather does your community bring out their unwanted things and let those that 'want' a chance to have? St. Louis Park (SLP) and Minneapolis, Minnesota in general have a pretty effective craigslist system going on, it also seems things just get picked up if one happens to see something they like when they pass by. In all my years growing up in SLP I have never seen cars browsing the curbside or the alleyways looking to refurnish their apartments. Maybe I just didn't notice this activity.
As I thought about it, it seemed like a pretty efficient way to go shopping for free things, and also get rid of unwanted or damaged items. I did enjoy myself as I ran up and down the streets watching people staring out of car windows pointing at old bed frames, or trying the doors of an entertainment center. At one four way intersection I saw three different vehicles stopped, all with trailers hitched to the back and 'look out' passengers whose jobs seems to be to find the best cache of items during the drive.
If you have junk, what do you do with it? If you see something you want on the side of curb, do you get it? Have you ever just driven around browsing for items? I would love to hear from you. Help me solve this curbside mystery.