Best Neighborhood to Find Free Shit

Mount Pleasant
Photograph by Brooke Hatfield
It totally makes sense that Lamont Street NW shares a name with the son from Sanford & Son. Sure, one Lamont worked in Watts, while the other sits in a gentrified neighborhood of well-appointed rowhouses. But like the sitcom’s junk sellers, Mount Pleasant abides by the laws of trash and treasure, which dictate that one family’s discarded wire shelf can easily be another’s shoe rack. It’s a function of adjacencies: The haves who dominate streets like Lamont live close to resourceful have-nots (or, at least, have-lesses). So when household cast-offs wind up on neighborhood sidewalks, they generally don’t stay there for long. Sure, the giveaways aren’t always gilded: Occasionally, a box of faded clothes might languish on a stoop for days. But for every rain-soaked box of astrology books, there might be a double boiler, a fine set of glass plates, or a wooden door easily transformed into a desk. As this freakishly early spring turns into a freakishly early summer, consider an afternoon stroll through Mount Pleasant. Whether you need a chair or a book of sex positions, you might get lucky.