Craigslist: my personal worst and best

When I was 20 and vegan and eating an abundance of vegan McMuffins, I answered a Craiglist ad for nutritional yeast. “We’re moving! 5 lbs! Free.” When I showed up on the South Philly doorstep, it was swarming with other Craiglist-free opportunists undeterred by the harried young woman who was watching her things being carried off in piecemeal before she embarked on a cross-country bike trip with her boyfriend. The nutritional yeast was an open bag in an oversized tupperware container which I did actually use, and then didn’t, but still moved into my next two apartments.
This is a vegan "egg" McMuffin, tofu coated in nutritional yeast. Not bad. Not egg.

This is a vegan “egg” McMuffin, tofu coated in nutritional yeast. Not bad. Not egg.

Seven years later, my then-housemate asked about the container taking up half a shelf in our four-person shared kitchen. I told her the story, which suddenly sounded a lot more ridiculous than it had felt at the time (nutritional yeast is expensive!). The container went into the garbage.

So that’s the worst thing I’ve ever gotten off Craigslist. The desk I acquired this weekend? Hands down the best.

I’m moving in with my partner in the Spring, and in her condo, I’ll be able to use the second bedroom as a studio space. I’ve been trawling Craigslist, Etsy, and Ebay for my dream work table, and fell head over heels with vintage drafting tables with flat file drawers. The few I found ran upwards of $1000 or more, but then I struck gold: a mid-century solid oak Hamilton with two regular drawers and six (six!) flat file drawers. The asking price was $450, I offered $375, and it was accepted. I simultaneously felt like I was stealing the desk out from under him and being foolhardily extravagant.

The challenge, though, was that the desk was 60 miles away, and I drive a Civic. Nikki and I explored various options, including renting a u-haul or renting a truck for the day. The most economical option, as it turns out, though, was to use her Enterprise Car Share account to rent a minivan. We were vaguely worried that it wouldn’t fit, but the whole desk is constructed with solid bolts and disassembled and reassembled with a single screwdriver more easily than anything I’ve ever bought from Ikea.


I love it. Love love love it. The desk is largely in great shape, but shows some wear. Please forgive me the hastily snapped cell phone picture, because I intend to take plenty of glamor shots during the restoration process. I plan on sanding it down, re-staining it, updating the hardware and purchasing a large cutting mat for the top. I’m itching to get started, but the project has to wait a little.


In other REALLY BIG NEWS, we’re re-doing the kitchen. Starting MONDAY! This project is progressing much quicker than anticipated. It requires some structural and electrical modifications, most significantly replacing the awful drop ceilings with drywall, so we’re working with a contractor. We got some recommendations, found someone we liked and were nailing down a start date in mid to late April and then the contractor bailed. So back at square one, we started the estimate process again, found someone that we love, but realized we’d have to start pretty much immediately. Expect a lot more updates on that project in the coming weeks, and in the meantime, here is Nik, staining our new butcher block counters:




  1. kgraettinger · · Reply

    I had a guy do my living room ceiling for pretty cheap, he level it, did the first two coats of mud and I finished with the sanding. It took him only one day to complete. If you ever are looking for a contractor just give a holler, I know some good ones for the things I actually hired someone for.

    1. Oh, awesome. I like the guy we’re going with a whole lot, but have some smaller jobs I’d like to get done eventually (like the gas pipe that’s still sticking out of the hall wall next to the “new” electrical sconce).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: