Sunday, March 18, 2012

Found Objects

There is a strange phenomenon in Fogville and it's surrounding cities.  The hubs likes to call it the Sidewalk Lending Library.  From time to time people will put excellent stuff out on the sidwalk for others to take, partly because it's too much trouble to have it taken away by a charitable organization or sell on Craigslist  (silly, lazy people), but also because most of the time someone will come and take your stuff within an hour or two.  (Of course, this really only works if you live in a neighborhood with lots of foot and car traffic.  Otherwise those beautiful things just end up getting ruined.)  I've gotten 1970s lucite bar stools, a mid-century morrocan hanging lamp, a repro 60s bubble chair, vintage clothes (from a clean box marked "free" and all items were immediately laundered), a fully functional 1960s stereo cabinet and many other really wonderful things this way. 

Let me tell you about my latest find!

I have loved "elevator" and "mood" music ever since high school.  Back then I had no job and a teensy allowance and pretty much everything I owned came from thrift stores, including records.   Initially, I was fascinated by the ridiculous/amazing album covers but I gradually fell in love with the music.  When I'd make cassette tapes to play in the car, Side A would be The Cramps or The Clash (borrowed from a friend) but I'd put Harry Belafonte or Frank Sinatra on Side B.   Even now, when my friends are digging through flea market racks hoping for rare rockabilly singles, I am looking for 101 Strings, Alfred Apaca, and Irving Fields.  I may hang with the swingin' rockabilly kids, but I have the musical taste of a 1950s or 60s conservative adult: totally L7.  So you can imagine my joy when the hubs and I saw this Readers Digest LP Box Set lying on the sidewalk!

Not only is the box un-damaged, but all of the records are present and in perfect condition, and so is all of the additional material!

It even still has the set of stamps that you would use to order additional Reader's Digest collections!

The best item by far is the Pleasure Programmer.

Yes, it's a cardboard slider that allows you to choose which records to play for any given event.  For example, when the boss comes to dinner.

Mind.  Blown.  Now I only wish our living room was this groovy. 

Love that chinoiserie chair in the background! I guess I'll have to keep my eyes on the sidewalk lending library for more super cool stuff.  Have you ever found something irresistable on the street?  What was it? Did you take it home?  Do tell!


  1. That is a very cool aspect of San Francisco. You have gotten some scores!

  2. OMG -- that is so cool. I have to see more of the Pleasure Programmer -- can you post more pics?! Hilarious name for it too.

  3. The Pleasure Programmer is amazing! How can we get this introduced back into the world?!?

  4. Awesome find! We have alleys here, with dumpsters. People put reusable items next to the dumpsters, where they are usually quickly snatched up by the Ewoks (as my husband calls them). But sometimes I find the good stuff first.

    My bedside table is from the alley, as is a modular wine rack we keep in the basement. I once found saloon-door-type shutters that I painted green and used to frame the garage window; they were just the right size. Added a window box and it made the garage look like a little cottage.

  5. Lucky you! I love the programmer!

  6. Our living room is TOTALLY that groovy!