Friday, March 23, 2018

Mailboxes of Seattle

Behold Mailboxes of Seattle, David Peterman’s photographs of Seattle’s 346 — no, make that 347 — mailboxes.

My little town has just ten mailboxes — no, make that eleven, if you count the one that appears on no map but which our carrier has assured us is genuine. We’ve yet to risk it.

Looking at these photographs makes me think of the most important mailbox in my life, one that stood at the bleak semi-industrial intersection of Ashford and Malvern Streets in the Allston neighborhood of Boston. In my first year in Boston, that mailbox was my primary connection to friends back in the Bronx. (Phone calls were expensive.) I’d walk out at night to mail a letter and think about messages in bottles. The loneliness of the long-distance mailbox.

[Via Atlas Obscura. The Allston mailbox still stands, though its surroundings are less bleak, less industrial.]

comments: 5

The Crow said...

I am now inspired to buy hundreds of stick-on googly eyes, maybe some adhesive smiles (or fangs!), and go decorate the mailboxes in my town! What fun, what delicious child-like joy I am anticipating! I'll take pictures to send to you.

Michael Leddy said...

Have fun!

Diane Schirf said...

There's a mailbox outside the back gate of the Flamingo. It is mostly unadorned. I think it's intentionally kept that way.

Years ago I got a tour of the downtown Chicago post office, where we passed hundreds, maybe thousands, of these blue workhorses that were being pulled from streets where they weren't getting a minimum amount of business (for some reason, 25 mail pieces a day sticks in my head as the minimum standard). It made me sad. Walking to the end of the block on Dorchester and making a donation to a mailbox was one of my favorite irregular rituals. I should take comfort the Flamingo still has an ornate Cutler mailbox.

Michael Leddy said...

We used to have a mailbox right on a corner, a minute’s walk away. What do they do with old mailboxes, sell them for scrap?

Diane Schirf said...

They weren't even old. USPS got rid of them, probably as a way to cut costs since few people were using them. I think I may have written about it at one time.