Wednesday, October 2, 2013

craigslist is fabulous

For my first day rhapsodizing about craigslist, I wanted to treat everyone who is not yet acquainted with its wonders to a little sample of how it can improve on whatever it is you're seeking to buy.  (And share a charming reminder of that excellence with those who, like me, are already well-acquainted with the 'list.)

But I don't want to suggest - mercy, no - that craigslist appears in its greatest glory as a mere substitute for buying something at Ikea.  (Though of course we will be discussing that too.)  For that would be an insult to this wondrous tool; though it can be bent to humble uses, its true powers appear when far more is demanded of it.  For the discerning person who is not seeking merely to save money, but to find something extraordinary; for the appreciator of curiosities not to be found in a store - truly, craigslist is a gateway to wonders.  Thus, for DAY TWO, we will talk about THE FABULOSITY OF CRAIGSLIST.

For where else might you find something like this?

It is a cannon from the 1700s.  I grant, of course, that it is in fact located in a brick-and-mortar store, but there is no likelihood I would have found this fascinating item absent the 'list.  (Though I have to say that $6000 is somewhat more than one expects to pay for an eighteenth-century cannon.)

Or what about this?

Though it is being sold as an island (for $475), I believe it is really a work bench.  And what about this?

A working nineteenth-century organ for $895.  I have been planning to buy one of these (though I believe with patience I can find a somewhat better price), and learn to play the organ.  (Of course I'm serious.)

Maybe you have a fireplace in an old house that doesn't quite look like you imagine it was supposed to originally?

Cast-iron.  $95.

And this is a mule pack:

For $60.  Really.  And you'll never guess what this is:

WRONG.  It's a working player piano.  With the scrolls.  $500.  A player piano.  Why don't I have a player piano?  And this...

Is $30.  And awesome.  I don't even know what to say about this:

It's $200.  Is that the going rate for a rocking pig?

This actually works:

And it's $125.  My mother had one like this, that was her grandmother's.  It was supposed to go to me (the only one of her children who sews).  And someone stole it out of her storage unit after her house was foreclosed on.  Moving on...

Copyright 1889.  Costs $500.  I think that's actually gold leaf.  Not bad.

For all your fainting needs.  $400.

Tibetan?  Indian?  Unclear.  But I believe that is what we call a "conversation piece."  $579.

For patriotic holidays, and all other cast-iron-eagle-lighting occasions:

It's $250.

Do you need a bronze statue of a buffalo hunt?

Are you sure?  It's only $400.  Kitchen remodel?  Just check an entire wall off the list:

Hand-carved in Hawai'i.  $450.

An utterly superior vanity, for $50:

And it certainly gets weirder.  Every so often I do a search for one of these:

(That one is $40, by the way.)  And instead I find one of these:

It's $100.  There are three for sale.  Truly - things you didn't even know you needed.

I think you get the idea.  (But I could go on.)

I note that I've relied on the DC-area craigslist for my examples so far - a straightforward selection, since that's where I live.  But I'm more than willing to look elsewhere, and I'll be happy to take requests.  Drop a comment with a metropolitan-area craigslist suggestion, and I'll use that one for one of my next little explorations.

Next stop: craigslist goes slumming - how to get truly boring items for less than retail.


  1. I'm pretty sure I want every single one of those items. Even the rocking pig. I am loving this series!

    Oh, and btw...every time I'm at mass and there is a reading from St. Paul with a particularly confusing passage, I think of you and smirk a bit. ;)

  2. PS--I also can't keep a straight face when we sing "On Eagles' Wings" after that video you posted awhile back.

    1. I know! A friend recently played one of those songs at her wedding, as the recessional (not to be funny - apparently she likes the son - and it isn't even as good as Eagles' Wings). And there were half a dozen of us there who had all seen the video (apparently we forgot to send it to the bride) and we LOST IT.

  3. My mother used to have an old sewing table and machine like the one you pictured. C.G. is perfect for you.