This week I got to visit the Butterfly Conservatory at the Museum of Natural History with my daughter and her classmates for a field trip. The students are studying insects and this exhibit provided an opportunity for them to see living, fluttering, tropical butterflies up close. And guess who we met? The Small Postman butterfly, that’s who!
Small postman butterflies are so beautiful and can be found in Central and South America. Apparently they taste bad. As caterpillars they feast on passion flowers, which fill them with toxic chemicals so predators are not interested. Kind of like that dog repellent that their human namesakes in the USPS carry?
Are you k.d.ing me? K.D. Lang on a stamp?
Just another reason to love Canada and Canada Post.
I picked up the book The Mighty Lalouche at our local library, without knowing that the main character, Lalouche, is a postman! In Paris! Matthew Olshan wrote a sweet book with beautiful illustrations by the talented, Sophie Blackall. Check it out.
This is not the kind of feel good paper mail news that I usually post but this article about the arrest of a uniformed, mail carrier in Brooklyn by undercover police officers made my blood boil. USPS employee, Glenn Grays, we’re with you here at VSM. And thank you to the citizen videographers of Crown Heights who recorded the exchange on their cell phones.
Another year, another successful ritual of making, sending and receiving paper valentines. My favorite paper mail holiday of the year!
Its Black history month and while I understand the value of this designation I wish Black history was not annexed to one month of the year but rather, more fully integrated in to how children learn American history. Heritage Box is a subscription service that teaches children Black history year round by delivering monthly, customized care packages with Black history and African geography materials! Books, games, toys, family activities- these packages could be a valuable addition to a child’s understanding and interest in their African heritage.
My vintage rose valentine stamps arrived by mail, just in time for valentine making! As my neighbor Amy Shearn so astutely observed, isn’t it a little funny that one has to pay shipping when buying stamps online? From the postal service? Couldn’t they cover that, since that’s what they do?
Valentine making is my favorite mail making of the year! I’m so excited. Are you ready?
A friend sent me a photo of this map at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum made of postage stamps, envelopes, and stationary. It was designed by Sir Paul Smith and made by Maharam in 2011. Go take a look!
The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) hosted an event on January 2nd at Brooklyn Museum’s First Saturdays, that caught my attention.
The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture is NOT a government agency. It is the nation’s newest people-powered department, founded on the truth that art and culture are our most powerful and under-tapped resources for social change. Radically inclusive, useful and sustainable, and vibrantly playful, the USDAC aims to spark a grassroots, creative change movement, engaging millions in performing and creating a world rooted in empathy, equity, and social imagination.
In the museum’s beautiful Beaux-Arts Court the USDAC set up a range of art making activities conceived to imagine the future of New York City, which is currently in the midst of an unprecedented affordable housing crisis. There was a Letters to the Future station, where people could write to a friend or loved one in the year 2036, telling them how they helped to keep New York City affordable. While the solutions to our housing crisis are so much more complex than the actions of individuals, posing the question is valuable. What kind of a city do we want in the future and what can we do collectively to make it so?