Off-Third: City streets are New York’s hippest department store

One man’s trash is another man’s bean bag.

Off-Third is WSN’s satirical column.

A new school year has begun, and with it, thousands of leases for new apartments and dormitories. As the game of musical chairs comes to an end, New York’s hottest and most in-demand resale store is once again opening its doors: a department store that spans 200 blocks and features pieces ranging from rusty vintage silverware to zebra print poufs. The streets of New York should be your go-to place to make your home shine with that special something and its odd stain.

Any interior design magazine will bombard you with sleek marble lamps, color-coordinated bedside tables, crisp dressers, and unstained drawers. Is that really what you want?

Matching furniture is overstated. The color coordination is unremarkable, as are the tables with all four legs fully intact. Leave them in 2021. If you want to embrace this fall’s style trends, you better be prepared to drag them down Third Avenue and hoist them up the stairs on your fifth-floor promenade. If you’re a proud keyholder to an unfurnished apartment, here’s how to fill your empty space with items that will have your friends and family saying, “You washed that, didn’t you?”

You might be thinking, “If someone threw it away, there’s probably a reason. Don’t be so paranoid. The reason for the throw is a lack of taste. No one in their right mind would want to throw around a stemless wine glass with a hot pink Santa Claus sticker on it. And you can’t buy amazing artifacts like that in stores. Bed Bath & Beyond is for losers. You go to NYU – you’re a cool kid now.

Let’s say you hit the jackpot. How to bring it home? Well, because you’re so cool, you have friends everywhere you go. Having another person with you is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any twosome.

I, for example, use Max. He thinks we’re friends. It’s ideal.

August and September are a 2 month Christmas party, and the whole of New York City is the Christmas tree. All you have to do is look around. I have a window that faces the corner, and nothing gives me more joy than to open my blinds to see a chest of drawers or a coffee table waiting for me, shining and calling me. Enter the world of street furniture. Every morning will be like Christmas, and every long walk home is a chance to go shopping.

Sometimes, however, there is a reason why something is off the street besides lack of taste, and that reason is not wanting to catch a disease from a wild street rat. So let me leave you with one last piece of advice: if it moves, don’t pick it up.

This will ensure that you don’t invite new roommates over. Remember, this is New York. If they can’t contribute to the rent, evict them. Whether it looks really comfortable is a personal judgement. I recently gave a cute beanbag that I rescued from the streets a new home, only to find that he had also given a few friendly cockroaches a new home. But that’s the joy of the market. You can just put it back out into the world for someone else to love, cockroaches and all. You don’t even have to worry about losing your receipt!

Go out and enjoy all the streets of the city. Just, maybe, wash it first.

Off-Third is WSN’s satirical column. WSN’s Opinion section strives to post ideas that are worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the author.