My biggest issue in the days following our Lady Sandreline has been a lack of work. The tiny shop from which my rent and food money is derived resides in lower Manhattan. Lower Manhattan, for those unaware, was without power and train service for about a week after the whole storm blew by. Train tunnels were flooded floor to ceiling, trees that had stood for many times over my age in years were uprooted and found blocking roads and crushing cars, and at night the normally sleepless city was eerily dark. With many key holding managers stuck in the world beyond the PATH train (New Jersey), I have spent my days walking the city in the hopes of something interesting.
My city wide treks have led me into some rather swanky areas. Somehow the nicer, pricier parts of the city and boroughs seem to have escaped Lady Sandreline’s wrath almost entirely. Apart from the occasional downed tree on the sidewalk, these walks of mine have been pretty smooth sailing.
All of this free time has given me an opportunity to learn something about myself: I am a scavenger.
Especially in the wealthier neighborhoods, people seem to place boxes of free give away goodies on their stoops for anyone to peruse. Things that would normally, in my experience, make their way to a Goodwill or a thrift shop end up on the sidewalk. Cardboard boxes with a permanent marker scribbled “FREE!” Signs taped onto desks begging any passerby to “TAKE ME!” It is all someone’s refuse, certainly, but is kept entirely separate from the trash. I feel absolutely no shame in admitting that I have added several books to my collection in these past few days.
What began as a chance encounter with my first foreign hand-me-down box of free stuff has grown into something more. I find myself setting aside some free time to take a stroll down the Park Slope side streets with an empty satchel bag on my side. The artist in me sees potential future projects in old wooden pieces. The scholar in me revels in all the new reading material. And the frugal old woman in me wants to grab every half decent piece of furniture and fill my bare ass apartment with it.
Luckily for me, my normal work shifts resume tomorrow. That means the money will once again begin to flow in a positive direction. And now I have a definite schedule to arrange my scavenging around. Life here is very good.
Happy Monday Fun Day, loves.