Trip report: Building REsources, San Francisco

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“I LOVE this place!,” my 13 yr. old exclaimed, after we had finally escaped the mesmerizing grounds of Building REsources. “They have GARBAGE CANS FULL of BROKEN GLASS. And they’ll sell it to you. How cool is that?”

Hey, other people pay upwards of $65 to go to Disneyland for a day. You can get into Building REsources free any day of the year. And not only do they have broken glass, but they also have broken doors (and some not so broken…), counter tops, tiles, doors, windows, chandeliers, globes, wooden flooring and many, many plants growing out of old bathtubs, cement stuff, and fountains made of — who knows what.

There are wind vanes made out of old metal barrels and others made from tiny signs, whirling above you.

There are the folks who welcome you in — funnier and more personable than the jokesters on any Disney trams. The guy in the shed built the chandelier that looks like a filthy jellyfish that greets you when you enter. We sought him out when we could not figure out how to get into the Paradise of Broken Glass. He introduced us to Angel, who gave us a tour of the glass and the machines that break it.

Dear daughter was absolutely transported by the glass. Angel was very supportive; gave hints about which types of glass would work best for various projects, backed us up when we parents warned that sometimes projects take longer than expected, made our daughter feel welcome to take samples of the various kinds of glass so she can experiment with grouts and adhesives.

Our visit was about two hours of thrills and chills. I kept reminding my daughter not to run up and down the aisles, not to jump on the carts, not to put her hands into the bins of broken glass (it is rounded down, but still…)

Oh, and the oak moldings we got (slightly worn, but much nicer than the ones at Home Depot, we thought), cost a fraction of what we’d have paid for new ones.

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