As warmer weather approaches the NYC area, folks come out of hiding. Streets and stoops fill with bodies that for the past 6 months have been cooped up inside 300-sq-ft quarters with windows facing brick walls to finally catch some fresh air and sunlight, and to socialize. In many neighborhoods, the stoop is the fair-weather extension of the living room. It's a plein-air perch to people-watch, to play dominoes, or put back a few beverages (technically drinking alcohol on your own stoop is illegal, but even Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz thinks that rule is whack). A few years ago, I had some neighbors who would even haul their 30" (non-flat-screen) TV out onto the stoop to play video games outdoors or to catch a Yankees game.
The last apartment I lived in was located pretty close to one of Brooklyn's main drags, and it seemed like with each day of nice weather, I would arrive home to discover a new gift left by a passerby, neighbor, or stoop-crasher. Sure, I'd find the occasional half-imbibed tall can of Coors Light, a shoe, and once there was even a middle-aged non-homeless dude passed out on my steps, but here are a few of the more interesting "gifts" left for me to discover on my stoop (that's a crack vial and a ring pop). I'm almost bummed that the stoop of my new place is set back from direct sidewalk access, no treats or surprises this summer. Share your own stoop stories or findings in the comments!