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    Posted December 18, 2013 by
    Saint Louis, Missouri

    Salvage City Reality show encouraging crime or addressing urban decay?


    There is a new reality show called Salvage City that seems to be stirring up controversy. I listened to an interview on the local NPR affiliate today about Sam Coffey going into abandoned buildings in the rust belt (St. Louis) and removing treasures to create art work and functional pieces for profit. Many of the callers were upset that these buildings that have been abandoned for up to 40 years were being stripped of their character. The local Fox affiliate ( ran a negative story on this and I think they missed the biggest point, urban decay must be addressed.


    The story focuses on "how" they get into these buildings and indicate that this will glorify crime even though they indicated permission was granted from the property owners.  Sam and his African American friend are shown breaking down a door and I am concerned that some sort of stereotype is being implied here.  It is obvious that these buildings are relatively unsafe and crumbling, so crime or no crime these guys could be paying with their life.


    I care about environmental issues and I think reduce, re-use, recycle is a very good place for us to start. It seems to me that this show is all about re-purposing items to make them beautiful again, but in a different way. The video clip shows an old bowling pin setter re-purposed to hold bottles of wine and it looks great to me (and something I would consider buying if it were ressonable enough). This kind of furniture should be considering before we go and spend money on cheap furniture made in China that will show up in a landfill in less than 20 years.


    Is this an issue that only applies to the rust belt states?  Do cities like Chicago and New York have these kinds of issues?  I would like to understand what others think about the method in which this issue has been presented (ie - a reality show).

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