Urban Ore on Ashby Ave. in Berkeley hasn't changed too much since my first visit there nearly 10 years ago.  It still has an earthy smell twinged with the smell of "old"--not unlike the smell of the home your grandparents have lived in since 1953.

Urban Ore's website claims that on an average day, they save 20 tons of material that would have otherwise been lost at a local dump.  Granted, some of the items you find at Urban Ore might feel more at home at the dump, but then again, one man's junk is another man's treasure.

Lori and I set out one Saturday a few weeks ago to find new treasures for me: a bookshelf for my ever-expanding book collection and a low table or chest of drawers for a sacred space I want to create.  

Unfortunately, I didn't find what I was looking for, but Lori and I did find many wonderful pieces at Urban Ore that we thought you might enjoy.

Lori spotted some rattan outdoor pieces.  They were in perfect condition and she said that they "just need some colorful throw pillows for a little outdoor conversation area."  Below is the couch that was priced at just $20, and there were also some chairs for $12 each.

We also found tons of good quality beveled plate glass which Lori said were the "bargain of the century" at only $10 a sheet.  They could be used for shelves or table tops.

The green end table drawers below were $12 each. "Painted a glossy red or black could be fab!" Lori said.

Urban Ore is also an excellent place to go for miscellaneous parts and pieces.  Why overpay for new things and their superfluous packaging when you can find something at a fraction of the cost that doesn't come with excess waste?  Below are solid brass hinges and some well-organized toilet parts.

It just seems wrong to conclude a post with toilet parts, so for those of you who are into collecting kitsch and/or cute items, below are some bear figurines.

Urban Ore is located very near the intersection of San Pablo Ave. and Ashby in Berkeley at 900 Murray Street.  (510) 841-7283

You can also visit them online:

Urban Ore is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 7 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm.