Sulla Strada

c. 1920s glass-door bookcase, found on Clinton Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, about 10 years ago

C.1920s glass door bookcase, found on Clinton Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

SULLA STRADA: that’s the title, in Italy, of Jack Kerouac’s best-known book, On the Road.

To Adrienne Grande, a reader of this blog who recently bought a fab 1810 Greek Revival house in Greenport, Long Island, it means something other than a drug-fueled cross-country road trip. Adrienne e-mailed that she has been furnishing with pieces “collected here and there or found sulla strada, i.e. on the street.”

“Sulla strada sounds so much more refined,” she wrote, “than ‘Someone threw it out and I took it!'”

I love the phrase and I’m stealing it. Some of my favorite things have been found, over the years, sulla strada. See these pictures for proof.

Four-piece rattan sectional sofa, marked Ficks Reed, plus matching armchair (not shown), found on Dean Street in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn

Antique Caucasian kilim, found among the trash cans on Henry Street, Brooklyn Heights

Enamel top, carved base, 1930s kitchen table, found on Henry Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, about 15 years ago

1930s enamel top kitchen table with carved base, found on Henry Street, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

One must never be too proud to go dumpster-diving. People throw out the most amazing things. New York City sidewalks are famous for great trash.

What about you? Ever found anything sulla strada?

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in ANTIQUES & COLLECTING, COTTAGE LIVING, HAMPTONS, INTERIOR DESIGN, LONG ISLAND, NORTH FORK, OLD-HOUSE MAKEOVERS and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Sulla Strada

  1. Mary-Liz says:

    Ahh yes – what joy!! I have found good junk for my garden on the street – 2 beautiful filigreed trellis’s, an arbor & some really nice containers. It is so gratifying!!

  2. Adrienne says:

    Perfect finds! You’ve inspired me to chronicle my “sulla strada” treasures…….thanks for the mention!

  3. Nancy says:

    And don’t forget my fab coffee table found on Bergen Street that you convinced me to take! I never knew that your bookcase and rug were “street gifts”.

  4. cara says:

    That’s right. Here’s a link to a picture showing the coffee table Nancy and I dragged back to her place, at my insistence. The perfect size and shape.

  5. Ficks Reed. Very old company. Good stuff. I just bought a FR set at an estate sale. How much sweeter it would have been to find it on the curb for free!

  6. cara says:

    The only problem with finding garden furniture at estate sales or “sulla strada” is cushions. The Ficks Reed set I found in Brooklyn is from the 1970s, not as deep as the cushions they make nowadays. I even called the company to find out whether they still had the old patterns! They don’t.

  7. Chania Allen says:

    Hi Cara, I love your blog, it is a bit like a real estate open house seeing all the great properties you find. Love this Sulla Strada post. I am a Road Find junkie. I have posted some of my best finds on my blog if you want to see pictures.

  8. cara says:

    hi Chania, glad you found me. Good going on the “road finds” (not a bad term either!) Isn’t it incredible what some people will throw out?

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