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End the Age of Waste!

February 22, 2008

Pardon the delay for a new post- going out of town and hectic work issues have prevented writing opportunities. But now I get to quickly write about one of my new favorite places: Urban Ore….

Urban Ore
900 Murray St

Berkeley, CA 94710

Upon moving back to the East Bay and desperately needing furniture for my new little studio, I was referred to Urban Ore by word of mouth. A huge, ugly warehouse straddling the area between Ashby and Emeryville, I discovered that this place was right around the corner from my new job location. Now I find myself trying not to stop by on my way home every evening. I have a childish joy of wandering up and down the chilly aisles as Beirut echoes off the rafters from the indie-bum employees’ stereo. Here is sample of the treasures I have found at this gargantuan salvage paradise…

Vintage Bentwood Rocker- it was already painted this lovely shade of yellow, so I’m assuming it’s not an authentic Thonet (but real or not, I can’t believe someone didn’t want this anymore)


Bentwood Cafe Chairs- I later discovered that their design is from the same era as the Rocker. The two padded chairs were bought first, then the 3rd in the middle- the whole set probably cost less than $12.00, approximately. Visions of an Apartment Therapy worthy makeover dance through my head…


Old picture frames- about $1.00 each. Perfect for salvaged art (left, from UC Berkeley’s donation of 34,000 prints to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse- also worth checking out)


More old frames- painted black to somewhat match.

The beginnings of my art wall. Personal pictures, pictures by photographer friends, and Kandinsky and Klimt prints (also from the East Bay Depot).

My new favorite gadget! Retro Hamilton Beach Standing Mixer- works perfectly too.

Assorted Porcelain and Milk Glass pieces- a couple bucks each. Perfect for flowers, candles, loose change, or just hanging out as is.

If you’re living on an IKEA budget like me, but are sick of the plastic and plywood, then I highly recommend salvage and consignment stores. Nothing beats a vintage beauty that costs nearly nothing- it will probably outlast your Krapsven Desk and ops for a better conversation piece as well. You’ll also be able to escape those suffering from Green-fever, by making the point that you are indeed Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. Urban Ore’s purpose is to “end the age of waste by advocating and developing total recycling.” This is one local business I will be strongly supporting well into the future.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2008 6:12 am

    fuck yeah i love urban ore. for the unselfconscious, there is also dumpster diving, or trash day. these activities are vaguely illegal, but in a way nobody really cares about.

  2. February 26, 2008 9:42 pm

    It’s true, this is a very good area for street-scouring. Thanks to trash day, Gwillis was able to house his magnificent Labyrinth poster in a beautiful gold frame…”Where everythings seems possible, and nothing is what it seems…”

  3. April 10, 2008 6:04 pm

    oh goodness, another place i’ve wanted to check out… and from the looks of it, totally worth the time spent.you found the raddest, most random stuff ever! love it. the retro mixer is a great find!

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