Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What's a mailbox?

Welcome to the new Tucson Mailbox Art blog! As I was setting this up, I wrote an email to a friend in France and started to mention the blog. I realized that not all countries are the same as the US — and even some people who live in the US don't have the type of mailbox I'm describing — so she (and you) might not know what a “mailbox” looks like or how it works.

Here’s what I wrote to her:

“I don't remember whether homes I've seen in France have mailboxes at the curb (the British write kerb) on the street in front? They’ve been a fixture of US homes for decades. (Many city homes used to have a mailbox attached to the front wall, or a slot that let mail drop through the wall. For efficiency, the U.S. Postal Service changed that when I was a child. Also, apartment buildings often have central mailboxes that are different than these.) Now — in Tucson, at least — the letter carrier drives a small truck along the street, stopping at each mailbox to leave that day’s mail (or, as Brits say, the post). The mailbox also has a flag, on a hinge, that the home’s owner (or occupant) can raise as a signal that there’s mail waiting for the letter carrier to pick up.”

The mailbox above is at 2308 E. Beverly Drive. (Click the "Location" box below to see a map.) I'll show the other side of the mailbox in tomorrow's post. I took the photos on December 10th.

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