DATELINE: ON THE STREET WHERE YOU LIVE
The normal summer increase of apartment residents moving from one home to another combined with the proliferation of cheap, disposable home furnishings, a general apathy towards civic pride and perhaps most significantly, the intense heat wave affecting the West Valley area since the beginning of the month has resulted in a ‘perfect storm’ situation, with thousands of pieces of perfectly good, shitty furniture being abandoned along the sidewalks of Canoga Park.
|A selection of low-cost used home furnishings abandoned on, where was this?, Valerio. Staff photo.|
“We’re seeing an unprecedented uptick in the number of discarded chairs, love seats, headboards and miscellaneous IKEA furnishings lining our curbs and sidewalks,” says Dev Noorvash who tracks furniture migration for the Canoga Park Friendly Neighborhood Council. “Canoga Park streets generally have an average of thirty-two old sofas per block. Since August first, that number has climbed to well over seventy-five.”
“I was helping my cousin move last week an’ shit...?” says Radek Murta of Blythe Street “And we started early but even by eleven an’ shit, it was so hot that after we got his bed and TV and some boxes of his clothes an’ shit on the truck, we looked at the rest of his furniture and we were like ‘fuck it!’ and just left it there.”
|Bed frames, chairs and more left by former residents of...hmm...Valerio Street, probably. Staff photo.|
Similar scenarios played out throughout the West Valley area.
“My sister was moving into her own place, right?” explains Nicolas Varga of Remmet Avenue “And our Mom gave her an old couch that I had to pick up at the house in Chatsworth, lug it down the front walk, load on the roof of my car, tie it down and drive it to the new place — then drag it up two flights of stairs. By myself. By the time I get there, it’s 110º and I’m already doing this shit since eight a.m. So I just said ‘fuck it!’ and left it on the sidewalk. I mean, I’m not jack-assing that thing up a narrow outside staircase with two turns in this weather!”
Across town, Nadia Nogueira says a friend from work promised to help her move but never showed up. “So me and my boyfriend ended up moving a lot of my [belongings] ourselves. But there was just too much stuff, it was too heavy and it was so effing hot, I couldn’t deal with loading up my Explorer for even one more trip — not in this heat! — so I just decided ‘fuck it!’ and left the dining room table and the chairs. I always eat in front of the TV anyway.”
Her boyfriend Alex agrees. “She just bought a new entertainment center three months ago. But it was too big for me to move alone. What the hell happened to this asshole friend of hers from work?! It took me an hour to get it out her door and down the stairs and already I was sweating like a pig,” he says, “By the time I managed to drag that thing out the security gate of the building, I thought I was having heatstroke and, fuck it!, that was it, I was done! Goddamn thing is probably still there.”
|An apartment's worth of furniture sits roadside, well, if not on Valerio, then likely nearby. Staff photo.|
|These four chairs have left the dining room for greener pastures on, let's see, oh yes, Valerio. Staff photo.|
(Reached for comment, Nadia's co-worker, Ted Pasternak, told the Quilt, “Yeah, I know I said I’d help [Nadia], but I barely know her and she only asked me because I have a pickup truck. When I woke up that morning, it was already 98º in the shade, so I was like ‘fuck it!’ and just blew her off.”)
|A handsome arrangement of tasteful furnishings seen here on Sati— Correction! Valerio. Staff photo.|
Traditionally, cast-off furniture left by the side of the road becomes the responsibility of the LA Department of Sanitation’s Bulky Item Collection service after the department has logged a minimum of eighteen increasingly desperate or angry calls per item, pile of items, or address. “Then, eh, maybe we’ll send someone out to take a look,” says department spokesman Albert Sousa. “But usually, we get about a dozen requests before whoever is reporting it just says ‘fuck it!’ and gives up.”
RELATED: Canoga Park Sidewalks A Scavenger’s Paradise For Perfectly Good, Shitty Furniture