Craigslist started out as a network in the trendy San Francisco Bay area and in fifteen short years, the very non-trendy Hudson Valley region of New York State has taken it and ran with it like only we can! If you live in New York City, you probably consider Westchester County almost upstate and where I live, a bit further up the Hudson River, completely upstate! I happen to think that you're not officially upstate unless you can't take a Metronorth train to the city. If you don't live in New York, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about! Anyway... I am a big fan of craigslist and so are my fellow "upstaters."
I remember back in my twenties (Oh my goodness, that sounds sooo old) when I used to take the 85 minute train ride into the city on weekends to hang out, I would hear people talk about craigslist and of course I would nod and pretend I knew exactly what they were talking about. I would claim that I couldn't really comment on the conversation because I didn't use craigslist because I didn't trust it. I was also telling people that I was from Westchester and living on the Upper East Side. Oh how easily the lies poured out of the mouth before I embraced my country-bumpkinness!
The truth is, craigslist wasn't really something that was widely used outside of major urban centers ten years ago. Oh lord have things changed! I guess because so many more people have internet access in their homes up here in more rural settings, craigslist has really caught on. If you compare the various regions, you can get a flavor for the contrasting populations. Really, its not hard to see why we up here love craigslist. This is the land of the yard sale!! Where else do people make an entire day of driving around with a Pennysaver from one yard sale to the next? Try driving around any one of the rural Hudson Valley neighborhoods on Junk pick up day (for my urban friends, that is the day you put all your junk that doesn't fit in your garbage can on the curb). There are people who LIVE for this day!!! They drive around at 10 miles per hour examining every pile to see which pieces of garbage they can possibly salvage. Why do they want those things??? BECAUSE THEY ARE FREE!!! We love free/cheap stuff!!! We also love getting money so when we saw the possibilities craigslist offered to try and make a few extra dollars (to spend on Quickdraw and beer... C'mon who are we kidding??) we ran with it!!
Take a look at some of the ads we post on craigslist... if someone is selling a table and chairs, you would imagine they would be photographed nicely in a clean kitchen, perhaps with a small centerpiece. Not up here baby! That table is in the basement, that's where it will be pictured with beat-up cardboard boxes and the boiler in the background!!! Selling a bedroom set? You would think it would be in a bedroom with nice linens. Ha!! That white laquer and mirrored (think that scene in Goodfellas when Henry Hill and his mistress are blowing lines and sweating and about to get caught) set is in the driveway in front of the 1975 Ford pick up truck!! Just to add class, the picture was taken with a camera phone. Need to furnish your dining room? Its hard to imagine how a hutch will look in your home when it is covered in your entire collection of Country Goose plates! Just watch out when people describe things as "shabby chic." HA!! Usually... just shabby!! Even though it is 2010, something purchased in the 80s is not yet '"vintage" or "antique" especially if you purchased it in Caldor.
All of this being said, I'm totally all over Craigslist and have furnished a good deal of my house with things I've found on craigslist and am constantly trying to sell my crap on there... I am a proud upstater who loves a bargain and to make a buck when I can. On an interesting note, the lower-income areas have taken up something that was once once exclusively for urban dwellers, usually those with higher incomes. Since the recession, the popularity of things like Kmart and Walmart, long time standards up here, has grown in urban areas... So my urban, financially challenged friends, I invite you to come on up this summer and we can cruise for crap on bulk pick up day!!!