The purging of apartments has finally begun in downtown Madison, as tenants make way for their successors.
Front yards and curbs in the Bassett neighborhood were already being loaded up with refuse and treasures on Monday night. For the most part, items intended for recycling had been separated out in a vague attempt at environmental correctness. Meanwhile, some people had thrown stuff clear onto the sidewalk without much thought. Television stands, futon frames, mattresses, carpet, office chairs and vacuums were the most common items in the piles of junk.
The number of piles was equaled only by the number of people scouring them for their next great home addition. (A couch and shelving have made their way into my flat, for example.) Most prey on those items that, while in good condition, were too cumbersome to bring to the owner's next destination. Those departing seemed to understand, affixing sticky notes of "needs fixing," or "broken" to electronics.
As the sun set, more vans pulled up to houses, loading and unloading, as couples and gaggles of friends brandished flashlights and dug for items in the moonlight.