by Lee Armfield Cannon
If you noticed the hubbub in the neighborhood one recent Saturday and spotted an unusual number of people strolling the streets carrying bags and boxes, no, it was not a mass move-in day in Forest Hills, it was the First Annual Community Yard Sale!
Organized by the Forest Hills Connection’s own Marlene Berlin plus a team of volunteers and neighbors-turned-salespeople, the sale on Saturday, October 17th brought the neighborhood out in the cool but pleasant weather. Shoppers came out in the hopes of grabbing up a treasure from the troves of Forest Hills attics, basements and closets. And some neighbors are now enjoying emptier attics, basements and closets.
Since so many neighbors took part, the range of items was unusually wide for a yard sale, which the customers seemed to appreciate. With maps of the sites in hand, some customers made the trek to all ten locations, stopping others carrying the same map to ask where the next stop was, to ask if anyone had spotted mirrors or kitchen tables or military antiques or Dr. Seuss books, and even to give a helpful report on which location was selling out and which still had goods for sale.
The hellos and back-and-forth between the shoppers underscored the real value of the community yard sale: It brought people out of their homes and gave them a chance to meet their neighbors. Renters from Connecticut Avenue apartment buildings met homeowners, people from northern Forest Hills met neighbors in southern Forest Hills. Because the yard sale featured a series of stops all over the map, people explored more of the community than usual.
Vendors also gave positive reports, many saying they had enjoyed meeting the people who came by, as well as getting rid of some old things from the storage room. Said yard sale participant, Zona Hostetler, who was selling small antiques from all over the world, said “I would never have thought to have a yard sale by myself, so it’s great they’re doing this. They took care of the planning and advertising. They made it really easy.”
Other vendors gave similar feedback and some were brimming with ideas to make the next community yard sale even more successful. So, as you clean and organize those closets – on a snow day, perhaps! – start setting aside those knick-knacks now and consider joining the Second Annual Forest Hills Community Yard Sale in Fall 2016! A big thank-you to all the organizers, vendors, donators and shoppers who made this event happen.