My aunt Betsy Gabler—a regular Daily Planet contributor—worked for a time at Alchemy Architects, a firm sharing a St. Anthony Park building with the studio of well-known photographer Alec Soth. Soth’s work is shown around the world, and his prints would return to the studio in wooden art-shipping crates. Betsy remembers that Alchemy principal Geoff Warner, a re-use advocate, would say, “Don’t throw away those crates!”
At least one crate was saved, reclaimed by Betsy to incorporate into a used patio set she’d been given by her sister when Betsy added a patio to the backyard of her Northeast Minneapolis home. Betsy had one side of the crate cut to size and drilled a hole for the umbrella, and voila! She now has a patio table with surface supplied by a Zürich-based art shipping company by way of Alec Soth.