Ellie Miller overheard this exchange at the Clinton Hill post office in Brooklyn:
Customer: “No, I don’t want those Reagan stamps….”
Postal worker: “Nobody wants these Reagan stamps!”
Hope Tucker reports a similar exchange from the Middlebury, Vermont post office:
Hope: “I just couldn’t purchase those.”
Sue the Postal worker: “I’ve heard a lot of that. Maybe in other areas those will be a bigger seller.”
So VSM readers, can you please do some field research at your local P.O. and ask how the new Ronald Reagan stamps are selling? I’d love to hear from other places besides the liberal areas of Brooklyn and Middlebury. Post your report here at VSM. Thanks and Viva Snail Mail!
I know many people are turned off by the commercialism of Valentine’s Day but I am not one of those people. I am turned off by commercialism in general. But if we are going to have holidays that fuel capitalism, why not one dedicated to gestures of love and affection? I LOVE seeing the reds and pinks of balloons/chocolate boxes/teddy bears and other tacky gifts against the grey, bleak palette of New York City in February. And of course you know I love to send and receive valentines in the mail. Thanks to Mom, Lisa, Dad, Bianka, and Dmitri for your paper offerings. They made my day. My dad sent me a tiny valentine package with a cute lil mailbox postage stamp dispenser inside. My husband sent me an ecard, which is fine since he has been sick for the past 5 days and not up for holiday preparedness. Plus the ecard features two mailboxes making out with their envelope tongues which is, um, HOT right?
Alex Norelli is immersed in a cool mail art project called “Post-Art Poetry.” I heard about it through a friend, went to his website, and picked out a card. He mailed me that stamped, self addressed postcard. I wrote poetry, inspired by the artwork on the postcard, and mailed it back to him. Fun!
Here’s what Alex has to say about Post-Art Poetry:
The reasons I wanted to start this project are many…. but in reality it started when I was at the Moma and found these postcard sets on sale…and all the art was awesome and I had seen almost none of it before. I wanted to share them with people, but also wanted people to really look at them, but not just look, and to do that I felt the assignment of writing poetry from them was good. Also the idea of sending the cards out to get them back was very alluring….Imagining the routes the cards take, admiring the stamps…also everyone’s handwriting….something email really lacks.
I’ve also been a postcard collector for some time…nothing schnazzy, just picking up the odd card here and there. I also just “inherited” a collection of my grandfather’s when my grandmother passed away…he was in a postcard club and they sent cards to each other from everywhere…there’s even one sent from Mount Everest in the 70’s. Going through his collection is the wildest world journey….its funny how something as small as a postcard can transport you so quickly and acutely to a distant moment or place, or consciousness.
From what I’ve heard back from participants they are really getting a lot of out this project, people are really enjoying the task of looking at art to create art. I think its empowering and freeing, and seems to be making people more creatively courageous. I don’t think this project would function as well if it were all done online…it wouldn’t be limited by the actual physical cards, which give everyone an equal space to do their work. And I think postcards are pretty humble and their size “forces” the best/strongest/poetry to the top.
Viva Snail Mail’s second mail making event was a total success! VSM co-hosted a valentine making party with Church of Craft at Spacecraft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Spacecraft is lovely and sitting around a big table full of people cutting and glueing and chatting really does feel like my kind of church. Loved it.