Thursday, May 29, 2008

Garage Sale - My Schema

It is too late for you to benefit from my GGGS Schema this year, but there are some other neighbourhood sales where it could come in handy as a resource for you. In any case, I will try to remind you of this next year before the sale.

  1. Don't make big plans for the late afternoon and evening. You will need a nap when you get home and you won't have energy for much more than a movie or video after supper.
  2. Wake up when you wake up, eat breakfast, have coffee. No matter when you get to the Glebe, someone will get there sooner and will get something you would have wanted.
  3. Do not arrange to meet someone in the Glebe unless one of you will be hanging out at a particular spot for several hours and will be easygoing about when the other arrives.
  4. Go with a friend (or two friends, but no more!), in choosing a sale companion, you should:
    1. Have enough in common that you will spend a similar amount of time at various locations, but:
    2. Have enough differences that you don't fight over who gets which item.
  5. Dress cool and comfy.
  6. Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
  7. Walk into the Glebe. Do not even think of taking a car into the Glebe until after 3pm. If cycling, lock the bike up and go back to it when finished. Taking a bike through the crowds is a pain.
  8. Stay in the shade. Don't cross the street to go to an unshaded sale if you can't see something that catches your interest from a distance.
  9. Don't even think of covering every street and seeing every sale. In fact, don't bother with the blocks east of Bank. Lower sales' density, fewer churches.
  10. Churches have cool basements, good prices, and public washrooms. They also tend to be pretty well organized at food sales.
  11. You can rinse your coffee cup in a church restroom so that it will be available for lemonade or limeade.
  12. Do not buy anything that is at store prices. You might think, "but it's here and I'll be saved a trip to Ikea." Stop it!
    1. There are no returns at the GGGS.
    2. It's probably an Ikea price for dollar store quality.
    3. The Glebeoisie have to learn that high pricing means being stuck with junk at the end of the day.
    4. When you get home, you will probably realize you didn't want the stupid thing anyway.
  13. Buy lemonade from kids as often as your internal organs permit.

It has been a long time since I have shared with you one of my schemas for approaching an Ottawa event. I feel badly that I have left you all on your own and thus likely to have a sub-optimal time.

In the upcoming months, I hope to rectify this situation. If there is a specific Ottawa experience that you are not certain about how to approach, let me know and I will work on a schema for it.



Jennifer said...

"Glebeoisie"! I love it!

Anonymous said...

As a Glebeoise (as opposed to those hoi-poloi known as "glebites"), I would add these pointers for those who live in the neighbourhood:
-stock up on all essential supplies the night before the GGGS, as you won't have access to Bank Street until late in the day
-rather than shopping or selling, consider the merits of spending the day sitting on your front porch, drinking coffee and greeting friends who walk by (David I was keeping an eye out for you, disappointed to miss you!).
-if you do need to leave the neighbourhood to, say, drive kids to and from soccer tournaments, make use of Bronson, the Driveway, and the southern entry points such as Findlay. Leave before 8:30 am and do not return until 3:00 pm (similar to Dave's biking advice).
-first thing Sunday morning, walk through the neighbourhood to reconnect with the streets and make it your own again.

XUP said...

It is also good to arrange to meet someone for a late breakfast somewhere close by so you have a definite time to quit otherwise you'll end up wandering around long past the time when you're no longer in an optimal yard-saling frame of mind

David Scrimshaw said...

Jo: I believe the term "Glebeoisie" was coined by Cynthia Carr, a former CUSO volunteer who spent time in Francophone West Africa.

Jennifer: I'm sorry we didn't make it to your street. By the time we got to 5th Ave, my backpack was full and I was over-heated. Thank you for the excellent Glebe Resident Schema. If you'd like to have a few more interactions with passersby, you could add having a giveaway box to your schema.

XUP: Your addition might work for some people if they keep my #3 point in mind. For me, it doesn't work. I hate having to check the time frequently and structuring my route so that I won't keep someone waiting. Another way to time limit yourself is to go late. By 2pm people have started packing up. Downside: lower selection. Upside: lower prices, including more free items.

Anonymous said...

How come you were hot and seeking the shady spots? I was freezing, seeking sun, and buying layers of clothing!

Very wise advice on the whole, especially about choosing your companions. I do disagree about the east side of Bank; however I won't mention that because I like that you're steering people away from my preferred territory.

Do you have a schema for Doors Open Ottawa next weekend?

David Scrimshaw said...

Zoom, why hot and sweaty? It might be a glandular issue. On the other hand don't you have a named condition that means you're cold all the time?

It's fascinating that you prefer the East side of Bank. Maybe when the stadium is gone, people will take to chanting "East Side Sucks" and vice versa.

I suspect that my Doors Open Schema will be the same this year as every other year.

1) Wake up the day after and go, oh, yeah, yesterday was Doors Open.

WJM said...

Go to the bank machine somewhere other than the Glebe.

On Friday.

Run at least one 20 through a change machine, and bring no bill larger than a five. Lots of fives.

WJM said...

In fact, don't bother with the blocks east of Bank. Lower sales' density, fewer churches.
I disagree!

It's not so much a "don't bother", but rather "bother first" with all blocks, east and west of Bank, of streets which have "Glebe" or ordinal numbers in their name.

Nex priority: the NW corner (Renfrew south to Clemow.)

The SE niggly bits (Adelaide, Howick, the east end of Holmwood etc.) can be good EARLY in the day, as a quick side-trip from Fifth. People tend to close up early there, though.

The NE and SW corners, where the grid pattern gets more combobulated, is much slimmer pickin's, with a much lower density of sales (and some hike-slowing hills near Holmwood and Bronson.

RealGrouchy said...

I ride my bike, because I can attach my purchases to it (rakes, shovels, etc.). But my bike is taller than average, so I can often see over the cars into the driveways.

Generally, I don't get much because most of the stuff I want I've already found for free on an earlier garbage day.

- RG>

David Scrimshaw said...

Hey RG, I agree a bike with a proper rack is a fine thing to bring to the GGGS.

David Scrimshaw said...

RG, I take it back. I saw you cruising at the sale. There's no way you could spot what needed to be spotted from the middle of Powell Street.

You have to be up close to notice the "free" signs that people leave on certain boxes.

And then when you're up close, you don't want to be weaving a bike between the crowds.

I'd have shouted out to you, but I didn't want to blow your cover if that woman you were with doesn't know you go by "Real Grouchy".

Lilia Pino Blouin said...

I want you & Manon to take me to the Glebe with you next time we visit! I will come prepared, I have my wide brimmed hat already. Loved the drawing, too!

David Scrimshaw said...

We will take you up on that.