“Stooping NYC” Instagram Account Helps New Yorkers Get Free Furniture


If you’ve ever been to New York City, you know that the sidewalks are often covered in endless trash bags, making the city always stinky and overrun with rodents. But often, among the trash, New Yorkers can find discarded furniture or other household items ripe for picking.

Known as ‘stooping’, shopping for free second-hand furniture on New York sidewalks is a way of life in the city for many, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. The city’s thriving leaning culture has become a sport of late, thanks to the spur of a few Instagram accounts that religiously share photos and free furniture locations, ready to lean.

One of the main accounts connecting frugal New Yorkers to the leaning gold mines is Bend over New York, which has 194,000 subscribers. We recently chatted with the team behind the page to learn more about the plunging culture in New York City, how their page came about, and their top tips for tagging free furniture on city steps.

Who runs Stooping NYC? The account helps New Yorkers save free furniture before it goes to landfill.

Stooping NYC is run by two people: an anonymous couple from Brooklyn. He and she started the page in the summer of 2019 to capture all the “amazing, wild, crazy” free items they saw on their neighborhood sidewalks, often accompanied by witty captions.

“We started by taking the photos ourselves and posting them for an audience (honestly) of a few friends and our mothers,” they say. Green business by email. “But it quickly took off, and within a month we were no longer the ones finding the steps, but instead we were posting things that we had received in the five arrondissements.”

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Every day, stoopers across town take photos of free items left on the streets – whether they leave the items themselves there or walk right past them – and send the photos with the cross streets to Stooping. NYC on Instagram, which the account then reposted. “While we feel so obligated to this amazing community to post everything we receive, unfortunately we can’t do it all in one day. But we do our best! Stooping NYC tells us.

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And they get some really amazing bids. Of course, basics like office chairs and sofas often find their way into the account; but there are also a lot of more unique items like original paintings, funky antique mirrors, taxidermy, bar carts, high heel chairs, piano keyboards, comics and exercise bikes. And once a post is published, whether it’s on Stooping NYC’s story or Instagram profile, there’s a good chance the item will disappear within minutes.

NYC lends itself to lowered culture.

With so many people leaving town during the pandemic, even more furniture than usual showed up on the sidewalks last year, helping to truly bend over to have his moment. But pandemic aside, the couple behind Stooping NYC believe stooping and the Big Apple go hand in hand.

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“New York culture lends itself to the act of stooping down in such an authentic way,” they tell us. “This city has a pretty ephemeral nature, whether people move to and from the city or even just to and from different apartments every year. People always come and go, and because there are so many ways to live in New York City, and no apartment is the same, so much great furniture ends up on the streets.

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In addition to sharing items that can be dropped, the account also shares the journeys and success stories of people on the account – which are often very New York-y.

“New York City has always been a main character in all of the tales in the tale, people bringing sofas home on train 6 (#stoopjourney), or finding a way to put up a wardrobe on a four story boardwalk ( # soopingsuccess) ”, they say. “There is an incredible and intangible energy that being in New York gives to everything we publish. “

They’ve heard plenty of hilarious stooping stories from their supporters – one of their favorites is of a nine-month-pregnant woman who “was stooping down all. She then gave birth at home on what I think was a hunched couch. And the baby seems to lead a life of tilting furniture! “

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Bending down is an environmentally friendly way to furnish your home.

When you need to buy just about anything, it’s almost always more environmentally friendly to get it used than to buy something new. So to mark a room you need on the street is literally saving it from the waste stream – if you didn’t show up, a garbage truck would pick it up and take it to a landfill.

In many New York neighborhoods, the furniture thrift scene is lacking – at thrift stores in many other cities and towns across the United States you can find cheap second-hand furniture, but in New York City, c is quite rare. This may be due to the high cost of renting stores in the city or the low percentage of car owners, which also means the average New Yorker can’t move a couch as far as possible.

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If you have a piece of furniture (or anything else) you’d like to get rid of, placing it in front of your sidewalk isn’t a guarantee that someone will take it – the garbage truck might go first. So if bringing something to the curb is your only option, be sure to tag @stoopingnyc (and / or any similar page you find that posts about leaning objects in your area – another popular one. in New York is NYC sidewalk alert) to increase the chances of someone taking it.


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