Diving The Golden Dumpster | Essay | Chicago Reader

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Diving The Golden Dumpster


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Age: 48

Occupation: Career counselor

Apartment: Four-room condo. $200 monthly maintenance fee, includes cable.

Location: Ravenswood

How Long in the Apartment: Moved in in 1999 after a gut rehab. Building previously had been Section Eight housing. "The only thing that's original is the floor."

Oldest Objects: Gifts from an elderly neighbor in his hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania: a set of syrup servers, a working reproduction of an antique coffee grinder, a kaleidoscope on a stand. He cut the neighbor's grass and shoveled her walk as a boy; drove her places and later visited her in the nursing home weekly as a young man.

Newest Object: An Oriental rug given to him by current next-door neighbor after he redecorated her living room.

Found Objects: Fireplace mantel, chest of drawers, headboard, antique table with carved legs, Krups coffeemaker, Ikea mirror still in the box--all in pristine condition, found behind a nearby building nicknamed the "Golden Dumpster" by neighbors.

Theory of the Golden Dumpster: "These places around here are small and space is at a premium, so when someone gets something new they just get rid of the thing they had--whether it's in good condition or not."

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photos/Lloyd DeGrane.

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