As the commotion of yellow carts and excessive traffic comes to a close, many residents of Allston said the annual ‘Allston Christmas,’ the miscellaneous curbside furniture exchange between apartment residents and passersby, failed to live up to its usual hype.
While the unofficial Labor Day holiday often finds students moving or finding free furniture, many stores near the Allston neighborhood said they did not lose business.
“Students moving in have very good taste,” said Neal Wigetman, owner of Basics Carpet and Furniture in Allston. “A lot of people don’t want to get into the old stuff on the street … In this day and age, kids want nicer things, so it [Allston Christmas] doesn’t hurt us at all.”
Desks, chairs and mattresses were common finds on the curb — although many other, less predictable items dotted the roadside — but few of them went anywhere over the weekend due to the rain on Saturday night.
In addition to the rain, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has repeatedly told residents to avoid the curbside freebies during his 14-year-long campaign to enforce proper trash ordinances as well as to warn against the dangers of disposed furniture. Each year, he tours areas in Boston and Allston to promote this campaign. This year’s weeklong Hub Move-In campaign started on Friday with Menino walking through Allston with representatives of several city agencies including the Public Works Department and the Inspectional Services Department to inform new residents to the area of the risk of bedbugs in old furniture, according to a Friday press release.
“It’s so important for us to use this opportunity to educate students and their parents about their rights as tenants and their responsibility to be good neighbors,” Menino said in the release. “We’ve put together a great team of professionals to be in our most impacted neighborhoods this week, not only enforcing codes but also helping new and longtime residents resolve any quality of life issues.”
The campaign also focuses on welcoming new and returning students to the area, and Menino, for only the second time in his tenure as mayor, will host a live chat — this time on Twitter — on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. to introduce himself to students in Boston and answer questions about the city, according to Menino’s Twitter account.
Many residents said they would not have gone near most of the furniture regardless of the rain because of the risk of bed bugs or basic cleanliness concerns.
Justin Lievano, 19, resident of Boston, said he would never go to Allston for free items, especially because of the rain.
“I figure if someone left it there, it’s probably for a reason,” he said. “I already didn’t want the stuff. Why would I go in the rain? Even if I did want it though, the rain would probably deter me.”
Emily Zoboski, 19, a Boston resident, said she might consider taking furniture off the street, but the rain would stop her from going out.
“I would totally take furniture off street if it’s good quality, but I would still rather purchase my own stuff,” she said. “You never know how much you can trust it … and the rain absolutely changes things. Moldy furniture is a no-go.”