Park Slope Stoop Giveaways: Greatest Hits

Fun finds on Brooklyn’s bougiest sidewalks

Box of fortune cookies and tea from Chinese takeout
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that every household has its own stash of leftover Chinese takeout condiments, fortune cookies, and tea of questionable age. Now you can add a stranger’s hoarded stale fortune cookies and dried-out tea bags to your collection. Enjoy!

A particle board desk (presumably from IKEA) with only one remaining leg. Note reads: SAVE ME FROM THE LANDFILL
This desk (or was it a table? Who knows?) is like that cute three-legged mutt that you saw in the park — if you look at it too long, you’ll start weeping. Leglessness be damned, this slab of particle board dreams of a new life in a new brownstone, far from the Fresh Kills Landfill. Do your part in saving the planet and lug this scratched-up hunk of veneer and compressed wood chips home.

Rainbow sandals, PVC piping, comb

If you’ve ever wanted to wear a stranger’s broken-in Rainbows — complete with foot-sweat stains — look no further. Worn so often that the footbeds are completely molded to the former owner’s arches and toe curvature, these sandals will truly let you know what it’s like to walk two moons in a Park Sloper’s shoes.

And this PVC piping! Ceci n’est pas une pipe, amirite? But really, from whence did this come? I guess you can pretend this is a pipe?

The real find here, though, is this black plastic comb. They used to give these away for free on school picture day, to encourage us little muppets to groom ourselves for the camera without, you know, spreading lice. Why spend a dollar on one at the drugstore when this perfectly good personal hygiene product is sitting right here on the sidewalk?

Blue Bloods Cookbook

At first glance, this seems like some sort of celebration of noble birth. Possibly a white supremacist cookbook? Fear not! Turns out that Blue Bloods is a police procedural on CBS starring Donnie Wahlberg and Bridget Moynahan. I rue not having picked up this tome of “120 RECIPES THAT WILL BRING YOUR FAMILY TO THE TABLE,” because the Google Books preview reveals that Donnie has a penchant for making walrus faces with green beans on set.

Sony headphones
Remember wearing this exact model of headphone on bus rides to school in 2004, listening to Brand New’s Deja Entendu on your Walkman and inwardly screaming? No? That’s just me? At any rate, these were left out overnight in a rainstorm, so they’re guaranteed to not function!

Bleach-stained towels
You know those towels that you’re embarrassed to have hanging in your bathroom when guests come over? The ones that you accidentally got Clearasil all over? My neighbors were not embarrassed to hang them on their railing. Let your freak flag fly!

Mop & Glo
This bottle of Mop & Glo has been carefully aging under a Park Slope kitchen sink since 1990, which is a great vintage for Tuscan reds and household chemicals.

Shoes for the whole family

One stop shopping for moms and tween daughters! Sure, the sensible grey and brown slip-ons are stark reminders of your fast slide into middle age, but with these holey-toed flats, your little Satchel will be the talk of Berkeley Carroll.

A stack of little girls’ underwear
Speaking of Satchel, you know how she’s just growing constantly and you can’t just bring yourself to throw her used underwear in the garbage like it’s trash? One brave Park Slope mom is starting a movement: preserving her daughter’s legacy by leaving out her undies for all to see (and wear themselves!). Who decides what’s sanitary anyway—the patriarchy?!

Kristen Martin is a writer based in Brooklyn. She teaches writing at Columbia University and Baruch College. Her essays have been published in Literary Hub, Guernica, The Toast, Cleaver Magazine, The Grief Diaries, and elsewhere.