Triboro Postmark Update

Remember how I posted a few months back about the upcoming Triboro Postmark? The one that would replace the individual neighborhood postmarks in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island? Well I have some new information. According to Bob Twombley of the USPS Triboro District’s customer relations office, outgoing mail dropped in blue boxes, started to get phased in with the Triboro postmark on August 24th. The postal service hopes to complete this transition by October 5th.  As of October 5, 2009, any outgoing mail that is placed in a blue collection box within the confines of Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island, will get the new Triboro District cancellation. However, Mr. Twombley assured me that every local postmark will remain available at the post office. If you want to have a local postmark with the town name and zip code, all you need to do is bring your outgoing mail to the post office of your choice and request it. Now who has time to stand in line for that, I do not know but it somehow takes a bit of the sting out of losing our neighborhood specificity on our outgoing mail. 


Thank you Zoe Leonard

I finally made it to Dia Beacon to see Zoe Leonard’s exhibition, “You see, I am here after all,” which closed this week. I had wanted to tell you VSM readers about the show so you would take a trip to Dia to see it for yourselves. But in the words of the Steve Miller Band, time keeps on slipping into the future. My bad. 

Leonard’s piece is made up of four thousand vintage postcards of Niagara Falls, hanging on a long white wall in Dia Beacon’s beautiful Riggio Galleries. It is incredible. I walked along the grids and groupings, staring at the various scenes of Niagara, imagining all the visitors over the years who had bought picture postcards and mailed them out to friends and family- proof that they had visited this famous locale. Some people had written messages on the picture side of the postcard, their words and unique handwriting adding to the image. Some of my favorite notes were:

“Write me a letter From Sullie A True Friend.”

“The Sassafras is good to eat. Bought it from an Indian.” 

“In Remembrance of your trip. Edna.” 










I also thought about how all of these cards made their way into Leonard’s collection, which she mostly sourced online. The volume of vintage postcards that exists reflects the last century’s fascination with and ability to reproduce the photographic image. And many of  those postcards have found their way to flea markets and thrift stores, just waiting to be mailed and re-mailed. This past weekend I visited an antique store in New London, CT and sifted through boxes of 50 cent, vintage postcards. I found some good ones to send out. Will my grandchildren willfully sift through vintage digital data, finding kitschy gems to share with their friends or turn into art?