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May 23, 2008

A Home At The Mall

A Home at the Mall

In downtown Providence, R.I., a massive shopping mall dominates the skyline. City officials have praised the mall for bringing new life to an old industrial city, but some residents and local artists like Michael Townsend have been grumbling since the mall was first built in 1999.

In 2003, Michael and a few friends decided to challenge their own critical perspective on the mall with an experiment - they found an unused space inside the mall and, over a period of years, furnished it into an apartment.

Michael talks with Dick Gordon about what building a home in the mall taught him about the connections between consumerism and domestic bliss.

Music heard in this story: You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch by The Gypsy Hombres for the album Django Bells; Our House by the Vitamin String Quartet for the album The String Quartet Tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young


Your Story - Tom Sivak

Tom Sivak contacted us about a strange twist in the story behind a gift he made for his grandmother when he was a boy.

Tom wanted to paint a red-headed woodpecker for his red-headed grandmother. But his classmates teased and teased him about his painting. By the time he gave it to his grandmother, he wanted little to do with it. She found a spot for it: on the wall of her outhouse.

Tom lost track of the painting after his grandmother died. But the painting recently found its way back to him. Tom talks to Dick Gordon about what the painting meant to him back then and what it means to him now.

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