Dumpster Diving


I've found some pretty cool things over the years that others have left by the curb. In fact, when I was living in SOHO, my entire dining room was decorated with furniture I found on the street, because in that neighborhood, the wealthy are always purchasing the new in favor of the hardly-tattered-at-all old.

My brother is the undisputed King of the dumpster dive. In his large apartment in East Hampton, Mass, you won't find a single piece of furniture that wasn't confiscated from someone else's trash. And you wouldn't know it if I hadn't just tipped you off! He's got some pretty cool stuff, including a darn-good knock-off of that famous Noguchi coffee table.

But nothing he owns comes close to the score I read about some weeks ago in the Times. Did anyone else see this wild "only in New York" story?

"¦one March morning four years ago, Elizabeth Gibson was on her way to get coffee, as usual, when she spotted a large and colorful abstract canvas nestled between two big garbage bags in front of the Alexandria, an apartment building on the northwest corner of Broadway and 72nd Street in Manhattan.

So Gibson takes the painting home and three years later discovers it's not trash at all, rather a Rufino Tamayo painting from the 1970s that was stolen 20 years ago and never recovered!

The painting's value? Oh, how about $1 million (said with my pinky by my mouth, a la Dr. Evil). Now, if you go read the whole article you'll discover how Gibson finally figured out she had picked up a famous, stolen painting and how it made its way to its owners and then, of course, Sotheby's. Long story short, Gibson got a $15,000 reward and a whole lot of publicity.

So"¦ what's the coolest thing YOU'VE ever found in the trash?