Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Streetsmarts and Scavenging

I took a short but fantastic trip to New York this weekend. Although it primarily involved just studying at a different desk, the change of scenery and adjusted study rhythms were really great. In addition to some excellent hang outs and some tasty meals, I was reminded of that charming New York institution of leaving trash/treasure on the sidewalk for other people to take home and make their own. When not fretting over my reading lists, one of the things that I've been thinking about is designing a nice work environment for when I move back to the city. I'd been planning to purchase a desk, but then the other day, surprise! A discarded desk was waiting for me down the block. We carted it home and up the stairs without too much commotion, and I think with some paint and maybe new knobs for fun, it'll do just the trick. For now, it looks pretty good:

Next up, late one night on the way home from Olga's heavy metal show, we happened upon a real gem: two shadowboxes! Only one is depicted here, but they're identical. They used to belong to a girl in the neighborhood named Matilda, and feature some classical little kid scribbles. I'm going to paint them a nice color and start a wunderkammer.

Perhaps most enigmatic of all, late one night while walking Sprout, I spied this old child's school desk sitting on its side. The funny thing about this is that the combo desk/chair design seemed much more reminiscent of my days in middle or high school. The attached desk seems to imply some sort of rigor to the work being done. However, this desk is really tiny. Not sure when it's from--the 1960s? But it seems it's from some mythical bygone era when education for littler kids was regimented and scary. Like schools in the literature of Roald Dahl. Sprout is inexplicably terrified of this desk, and had to be coaxed with kibble to pose with it (for scale).

And now for a valid answer to your valid question: What will you do with an undersized school desk? The answer is this: I'll use it for some other purpose for awhile--a shoe/hat/coat rack/umbrella stand, or an end table, or a bedside table. Then, when I've got a child big enough to sit there, it can be their drawing desk. Or I can just put it back out on the street.

3 comments:

Jamie said...

Ah! I had one of these tiny school desks when I was growing up. It was the best "toy", ever. I'm still waiting to live in a place where it makes sense rescue it from my mom's basement and reintroduce it to my life. My mom also found a larger, all wooden version of this and snagged it for me--so, I guess I technically have 2 of desks. If we ever want to start a school...

la_sale_bete said...

we should DEFINITELY start a school. It just makes the most sense based on the furniture we've got!

Jill said...

All kind of great find. Nothing wrong with a free desk for little people.