As I walk around Back Bay and Beacon Hill every year at this time, I see the same items left in alleys and on sidewalks. Ugly print sofas and oversized armchairs will provide unexpected seating for a few days along Beacon and Marlborough Streets, for those who have yet to learn about bedbugs.
In Beacon Hill, there's always a supply of ancient tube TVs. I find this odd. They're often huge, while Beacon Hill apartments are small. And Hill dwellers are inevitably flush enough to have bought digital HD flat-screen models long before now. On the other hand, Savenor's lets shoppers buy their investment-quality beef roasts and unpronounceable cheeses on credit, so perhaps they are quietly bankrupting the neighborhood.
You can always, always find a metal torchiere (or three) up for grabs at this time of year. I've already spotted my first:
You will often find the torchiere looking, like this one, rather lonesome, and not surrounded by piles of other discards. My theory is that even people who aren't moving get restless at this time of year. They're home after their vacation, wandering around their apartments with a fresh eye and a sudden zeal for decluttering. They realize they've been harboring an intense, unarticulated dislike for their torchiere. And why not? It's cheap-looking, wobbly, and always leans a bit. It screams 1980s "transitional" style. And it doesn't even provide decent illumination, except upwards, toward the ceiling.
I suspect that many earnest declutterers fizzle out and settle for tossing old magazines, piles of hotel toiletries, dried flowers, dead plants, and tattered towels — plus the torchiere as the pièce de résistance. Getting rid of such things is good for morale even if they are low-hanging fruit.
In my brief alley walk yesterday, I also spotted this:
Is this Sponge Bob's welder friend Brad, perhaps? I have no idea, but I applaud whoever got rid of it.
In related news, it appears that, around 11 am today, a moving truck may have already wedged itself under a bridge or overpass on Storrow Drive, where height restrictions are carefully posted at every entrance. At least one foolhardy driver ignores those signs every year around this time, without fail, inspiring an informal betting games around town known as the Storrow Pool. The goal is to guess when it will happen, not if. Read Universal Hub for up-to-date reports.