Friday, July 29, 2011

A New York Minute

This is where the junk was piled up on the street.
The other night I was walking home down West 15th Street in Chelsea. As I got near our building I saw that in front of the building across the street where Susan Sarandon lives was a big pile of junk out on the curb for garbage pick-up. There was furniture and books and bags heaped up on the sidewalk. My heart leapt a beat. Who knew what treasures awaited? There were already a woman and a man on the scene and they had a station wagon car which they were filling up together. I approached the mass of junk and immediately I spied in the middle a shelf stand made of bamboo with three wooden shelves. I love old bamboo things which look antique and Asian at the same time; they remind me of 611. The woman was going through stuff but she didn't seem interested in or hadn't noticed the bamboo stand. In black Prada monk straps I stepped carefully and quickly through the bags of junk and plucked the bamboo stand out of the middle and slipped it under my arm. The woman looked up. "That's nice," she said. "Isn't it?" I said.
I ran across the street to get home with my find. A taxi cab pulled over on the side and the man in the back of the cab yelled at me, "Be careful! Do you want to get hit by a car!" I looked over and it was my friend Mario Buatta in the back of the cab paying his fare. I was surprised to see Mario there, in front of my building, because he lives on the Upper East Side, but he gets all over town. He got out of the cab and we had big hellos. I hadn't seen him for a while and he looked good. He said he was going to a party for the Lycée Françias or some such thing in a building a few doors down on 15th. "What is that you've got there?" he said and I explained. He nodded approvingly. "Put it next to a chair with books and magazines on it," he suggested. "You'd pay some money for that in a shop on the Upper East Side," he said, "You did good." The ultimate compliment from a great American decorator.

When I got home I washed it off with soap and water. Here it is in the apartment. We don't really have room for it anywhere, but we'll figure it out. Or move! It looks like someone tried to paint the bottom of it green, but with a pile of magazines or books on the shelf, no one will see that. When TD came home he said he loved it.

I love the price.


Ella said...

What an exciting bargain and I wish it could tell its story.

helen tilston said...

That is a little treasure. I felt the thrill in your footstep as you ambled across the street with the dusty shelf. Isn't it always the way when this type of thing happens someone crosses your path and an explanation is necessary
Fun post thanks
Helen x

Magnaverde said...

That's would be a sweet stand no matter what--most of the ones in this style have begun to lose their finials--but to get it for free is even better, and then to have it awarded the Mario Buatta Seal of Approval on top of that makes it a total winner. You really did do good!