I love these postcards from Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press. You can see the rest of the illustrations in the pack on her tiny post offices tumblr.
Kyle gets to see tiny post offices up close as she tours the country in her Moveable Type truck, a 1982 Chevy step van, retrofitted as a letterpress printing shop. Maybe she will be driving through your town this year, or you can propose that she schedules a visit/workshop in your neck of the woods.
Um, I think I am in love with Kyle Durrie.
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
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.
I was very inspired by this message from a friend of a friend:
Can you help me out? Our daughter Rose’s 2nd grade class (the Owls) are studying the Post Office and how communication has evolved over the years. This touches on a lot of academic subjects: (math, geography, writing and community based learning). It would be great if you could send a post card to the class from where ever you may be. Or forward this email on to friends and family from all over the world asking them to send the Owls letters and postcards. We’ll read the letters together, find the location on the map, and place them on the bulletin board outside our door (so make sure they’re 2nd grade appropriate!)
This is the teacher’s 5th year doing this project and the kids just love it. They have set up a running post office in the classroom that is student led. Each day different children take turns acting as the mail carrier, mail sorter and cashier while other students write letters. Stamps cost 6 cents and prices go up regularly. Each student has their own set of money to buy stamps with. Eventually we’ll open the post office up to the whole school.If you would like to participate please send letters, postcards to:
Children’s Day School
Ms. Amy and Ms. Daniela (The Owls)
333 Dolores St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
I think these teachers need a special VSM award. In fact, I think I am going to make them one. For now, I sent those little owls a postcard. What do you say, readers? Can you send the Owls some mail from your zip code? Viva Snail Mail!
Postage rates have gone up. The new domestic rate for a one ounce letter is 45 cents and 32 cents for a postcard. I can hear your thoughts. You’re grumbling something about “Didn’t they just raise the rates? Now I have to go buy more stamps at the post office? Why are they making this hard for me?” Right? Does that sound about right?
Well I agree with you in some ways. The incremental increases ARE annoying. For me its not because I don’t want to pay more money. I would gladly pay more to send paper mail. I mean the new rate to send a letter to Mexico is 85 cents! Orbitz.com claims that for me to bring my letter to Mexico City myself would cost a little over $600.00. What annoys me is having to keep track of the rates so I don’t send mail with too little postage on it. And for that annoyance I have two words for you. Or for me. Or for whoever is annoyed. Forever Stamps. They are good for, well, Forever. And no, they’re not really meant for International mail. But they’re super convenient for domestic letters. And here’s a VSM tip that I stand by. Buy your stamps on USPS.com. Its convenient and the selection is excellent. Those new Birds of Prey stamps look good!
And how’s this for a strategy for streamlining the sending of paper mail?
I think Hallmark’s Postage Paid Greetings idea is brilliant, although their presentation is lacking. Stamps are way more beautiful to look at but I am interested to see if this concept could be used by smaller purveyers of cards and stationary.
An excellent commentary on NPR’s Morning Edition by Gwen Thompkins called Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Joy of Letters. I love her descriptions of observing Parisian customers taking a LONG time to pick out stamps at a French post office and losing her letter filled desk in Hurricane Katrina.
Apparently at a Senate hearing on Tuesday about the USPS’s financial situation, U.S. Senator for Missouri Claire McCaskill suggested to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe that the USPS might consider a marketing campaign to promote the value of letter writing. Yes, that shit was on C-Span! No it won’t save the Postal Service but wouldn’t it be fabulous? While she was mocked by John Stewart on the Daily Show, I think we should shower her mailbox with gratitude.
Drop this woman a card!
The Honorable Claire McCaskill
United States Senate
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2504
And John Stewart, I still love you.
According to today’s article in the New York Times, its getting seriously bad for the United States Postal Service. We already knew this right? Email and online billing have dramatically reduced the amount of revenue from paper mail postage. But when I read that labor costs make up 80% of the agency’s expenses I thought, here we go. Unionized postal workers are going to be scapegoated. They’re going to be leaned on hard to reverse their job protections, and when they push back just like teachers and firefighters have been doing, they are going to be cast as the new bad guys. I mean, middle class American union members are the problem? How about the big banks and all those credit default swapping shenanigans? And while we’re at it, maybe large corporations like General Electric could pay some taxes.
I am not a Congresswoman or a business guru. I don’t know how to fix this and I understand that something’s got to give. But on this day, Labor Day 2011, a holiday to honor the contributions of hard working Americans, I am thinking of the men and women who deliver the mail. Perhaps that envelope art contest idea could take shape as a way to respond to this dire situation. Love letters to the post offices that will close and the workers who will lose their jobs. What do you think?
Summer is here and Viva Snail Mail proposes this:
Redirect your status update from Facebook to Postcards!
Reconnect with the lost sensation of writing and mailing postcards while on vacation. Your friends and relations will love to receive a little slice of summer from you.
Some tips on how to actually make this happen:
1. Order stamps from USPS.com and keep them in your wallet. Or if your vacation is somewhere with a quaint post office, go in and buy some stamps as a way to absorb some regional flavor. In the recent past post offices were a social network in their own right. Some still are.
2. Put some important mailing addresses in an easy place to find. A piece of paper folded into your wallet, next to your stamps. In your address book on your smartphone. In an email that you send to yourself.
3. Buy postcards as part of the fun of your vacation. Tacky souvenir shop. Antique store. Truck stop. Flea Market. Museum.
4. Find a spot to write your postcards that’ll be much sexier without wi-fi. On the beach. In a hammock. At a soft serve shack. Under the stars.
After Bloomberg Business Week’s cover story, The End of Mail, the popular website Freakonomics is asking readers to vote on ways to save the USPS from complete economic collapse. After reading these articles, I watched my cheerful and lovely mailman roll his mail cart up to my building with a better understanding of just how bad things are. And then when I opened my mailbox to retrieve some completely not interesting bills and junk, my heart sank knowing that this crap is what’s paying my mailman’s salary. According to Bloomberg Business Week, in 2005 junk mail surpassed first class mail in volume. The USPS needs 3 pieces of junk mail to replace the profit made from one piece of real mail with a first class stamp. Blech.
In more adorable news, remember the World’s Smallest Post Service? Lea from Leafcutter Designs has joined forces with Chronicle Books to sell a World’s Smallest Post Service home kit! How great is that? Maybe we can all buy them and send mail with 44 dollar postage stamps, no 444 dollar postage stamps, and turn this thing around! What da ya say?