My family went on vacation to Chicago, well actually Evanston. We were visiting our good friends who had the nerve to move back to their hometown after the kids in New York City thing proved untenable. And they made the right choice because their new, old locale is great. We had a fantastic time!
Some VSM highlights were meeting Donovan from the Letter Writers Alliance and visiting the lovely paper goods store, Greer. It is chock full of carefully selected goodies like this letterpress greeting card from paper parasol press. And this impressive hand cut Lake Michigan card by Crafterall. The little star is Chicago. I even got to be there for the mail carrier’s delivery!
Viva Snail Mail!
The USPS just announced that they are ending mail delivery on Saturdays but will continue to deliver packages 6 days a week.
Postal Service to End Delivery of Letters on Saturdays
This week The New York Times published a lovely portrait of a mailman named Al Gibson who is retiring from his route of 45 years in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. Read it. It’ll make ya feel good.
Mr. Gibson, I wish you well.
Photo by Robert Caplin for The New York Times
There’s a new baby in our family! My sister Hope and her husband had a baby girl and we’re all just a little excited, or as my daughter says, ” a yiddle issited.”
Since Hope is the most consistent commenter on this blog and her birthday is coming up, the next two entries will be dedicated to her.
I am so glad there is a new child in our family for me to correspond with/indoctrinate! Thanks!
When my niece is at least 2 and ready for TV, Sesame Street’s website has an entire video playlist called Post Office and Mail. I can’t wait to watch with her.
And these soft blocks are in your hand me down future.
Might I suggest Peekskill, New York?
If you’ve got kids, or just like trains and sweets, I recommend Treat Station. Its got a huge model train table, ice cream, pinball, old fashioned candy, and on the back wall, some vintage Peekskill postcards.
Have you ever seen the Jacque Tati movie, Jour de Fete? With the bicycle riding mailman? If not, then rent it! It is so funny and brings together two of my favorite things, mail and bicycles.
By now you know that I have been a paper mail enthusiast since way back but did you know that I have also been a city cyclist since I was a teenager with a courier bag? That’s why I have been very excited about all the recent efforts by groups like Transportation Alternatives to make New York City a better place to bike. David Byrne, a long time city cyclist, (who I have never seen wearing a helmet!) wrote this fine piece called This is How We Ride in the New York Times a few weeks back.
And speaking of mail and bicycles, the USPS issued these stamps on June 7th! Buy them and use them for postage on some Viva Bicycles mail. I’m gonna.
To watch more bicycle movies, the Bicycle Film Festival will be here in New York City from June 27th to July 1st. The fest makes stops all over the world so check out their website for dates.
From One Was Johnny by Maurice Sendak, 1962.
I just learned that it is unlawful to tip your mail carrier, since monetary gifts would put USPS employees at risk of violating federal ethics laws. However you can give your mail carrier a gift worth 20 dollars or less.
I am going to buy our mailman some chocolate bars (like those dark chocolate Lindt ones with sea salt? OMG! and the Theo ones with salted almonds?) and tuck those sweets inside a big decorated envelope, along with a handwritten note of appreciation. I am going to address the envelope to my mailman by name and then stow it away inside my mailbox. Hopefully he’ll like receiving mail while busy delivering mail.
P.S. My mailman looks exactly like this guy, except he’s not white and his delivery route is a bit more densely populated.
If you subscribe to Garrison Keiller’s Writer’s Almanac, a poem gets sent to your email address every day.
Here’s one that Biskit forwarded to me:
I see a postman everywhere
Vanishing in thin blue air
A mammoth letter in his hand,
Postmarked from a foreign land.
The postman’s uniform is blue.
The letter is of course from you
And I’d be able to read, I hope,
My own name on the envelope
But he has trouble with this letter
Which constantly grows bigger & bigger
And over and over with a stare,
He vanishes in blue, blue air.
Fantastic rally at Foley Square in Manhattan on October 5, 2011.