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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

#11: 21 questions that go through a New Yorker’s head when they see sidewalk junk

Check out the great guest blog from one of our Win the Ultimate New York Life contest finalists

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You don’t have to live in New York City long before you come across sidewalk junk -- you know, the stuff someone else has discarded on the curb because it no longer has any use to them. In any other city, sidewalk junk is just that -- junk. But not here. In the land of expensive, well, everything, these curbed goods are seen as a blessing, a gift, a fortuitous chance to grab that special piece that will tie your whole room together, for free. But, not all of these found goods are worth the hassle. Here are 21 questions that race through a New Yorker’s mind when we stumble across this free, open-air mini flea market:

1. What is it?

2. Is it broken?/Does it work?

3. Can I carry it by myself?

4. How many flights of stairs do I have to carry it up?

5. Is there anyone else that could help carry it?

6. What kind of condition is it in?

7. How long has it been here?

8. When is the last time it rained?

9. How good of a find is it?

10. How much would it normally cost?

11. Can I pass it off as something I bought somewhere?

12. Will it fit in my apartment?

13. Can I wait on this or will someone else grab it as soon as I walk away?

14. Is this trash or is someone just moving out? (Usually asked while scanning the area in a casual-yet-suspicious manner.)

15. Does it seem sanitary enough?

16. Is it worth bedbugs? (Hint: Nothing is worth bedbugs.)

17. If I move, can I take it with me?

18. How easy will it be to get rid of?

19. Can I sell it?

20. Do I need it? And after all that…

21. Do I actually want it?

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