One of the fun things about living in hotel rooms is that you get to see all kinds of random crap on TV. King of the oddball show is The Discovery Channel. There are all kinds of goofy shows here from sort of reality shows to sort of educational shows. Amish Mafia and Naked and Afraid are two recent titles that kind of boggle the mind.
Salvage City was a very short lived show. It has all of three episodes and you can watch them on YouTube. The idea here is what if American Pickers found a pile of junk, and instead of dickering with the owner, they just tossed it all in the back of the van and drove off. The heroes of Salvage City are shown to be simple looters, albeit happy and smiling ones.
I’m a photographer and a recent trend in my world is something called Urban Exploring. This is where someone breaks into an old building or an amusement park and takes photos of the decayed and ruined surroundings. Pretty much every city in the world has a few buildings that no one has used for some time. We like to call these places Abandoned, but someone still owns all of them and it is still against the law to break down the door and wander around inside. I’ve always been afraid I would fall through a floor or something.
Salvage City is interesting to watch because we see our heroes here stealing crap and making jokes about getting caught. It’s a TV show, so we can assume that they are not actually breaking into the buildings we see them breaking into. But they make it clear that this is a normal method they use to get the raw materials for the things they sell. It’s both odd and interesting.
On Storage Wars there is a woman who buys units so she can use the items inside to make ‘art.’ This is also what the guys on Salvage City do. After they steal a few items, they turn them into something new and sell them at auction. I’ve never understood this side of the business. Why would anyone buy the things these knuckleheads put together out of junk?
I have to admit that when I look at a lot of Urban Exploring photos I tend to wonder why so much stuff is left in abandoned buildings. I have never taken the next logical step and said, Wow, I think I’ll go there and load up the back of a truck. On the one hand, yeah the stuff is there for the taking, but on the other, taking it is stealing it.
A lot of people were unhappy that all they showed of Saint Louis was the abandoned and the ruined, but that’s kind of the idea. If this show had continued I could easily see them making field trips to places like Detroit and Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. Places like St Louis that are a bit less than they once were. They would need a fleet of trucks for Detroit alone, half the city is abandoned.