July 6 - A natural beauty

Mailbox Review #6:  ★★★★☆

Mailbox Review #6: ★★★★☆

10th & Randolph, NW

This shiny blue mailbox didn't have a single sticker, marking, smudge, or noticeable dent! It is either brand new or the people of 10th & Randolph take excellent care of their mail portals. This guy earns for stars for its impressive appearance, but it doesn't quite reach five stars because it's a bit off the beaten path (which is probably how it stays so shiny).  Still looking for that perfect five star mailbox...

Posted on July 6, 2016 .

July 5 - Melting in the Heat

Mailbox Review #5:  ★★★☆☆

Mailbox Review #5: ★★★☆☆

I think the zebras are melting too

I think the zebras are melting too

14th & Euclid, NW

The heat of the summer is clearly getting to this mailbox.  The stickers appear to be melting right off the side.

Today it was over 90 degrees and it's expected to only get warmer as the week goes by. I'll have to check in on this guy, I hope he makes it.

Overall, I think this is a three-star mailbox. Good stickers (plus), high-traffic area (plus), not in the best shape (minus)...and after biking up 14th street in the mid-day heat, I wasn't feeling very generous. It would probably score higher if I approached it from the north. 


Posted on July 5, 2016 .

July 4 - Fireworks

Mailbox Review #4:  ★★★  ★☆

Mailbox Review #4: ★★★★☆

13th & Spring, NW

I wouldn't have guessed that three of the four mailbox reviews would be done late at night. Until now, I always considered sending letters a day-time errand. Turns out these trusty mailboxes are available around the clock! And, I might even say, the one on 13th & Spring is better at night. Or, at least better on the 4th night of July. At 10:30p this mailbox was highly visible, illuminated by stoplights, streetlights, and celebratory fireworks. 

While I sent the postcard at least a dozen people walked by. It's likely this was due to the holiday, but still, the intersection had more foot traffic than I expected.

The mailbox has a lot of markings, but nothing notable – the marks weren't offensive, clever, or particularly beautiful. Notable to me, that is. I imagine each of these tags mean something, I just don't know what.

Overall: four stars on the fourth of July.  Well-lit, accessible... and it's hard to not be patriotic when that reflective USPS sound barrier-breaking eagle is illuminated by fireworks. 

Posted on July 5, 2016 .

July 3 - Off the Curb

Mailbox Review # 3:  ★★★★☆

Mailbox Review # 3: ★★★★☆

12th & G, NE

One block south of the ever-active H Street, this mailbox's spot is surprisingly serene. While H Street bustled with late night party activity, this street was quiet and peaceful. The mailbox seemed calm and super stable– notice the concrete base? No one is stealing this mail.

Its off-the-curb position might make it less convenient for drivers (or the bikers using the G Street bike lane), but for sidewalk-ers and residents of the nearby apartment complex, I think this is a great spot. Plus, further from the road means that it's less likely to be hit by a car and banged up like Mailbox #2.

Safe, accessible, and with no aggressive graffiti, this mailbox earned four stars. 

Posted on July 5, 2016 .

July 2 - Garbage Mail

Mailbox Review #2:  ★★☆☆☆

Mailbox Review #2: ★★☆☆☆

13th & Monroe, NW

This guy is in rough shape. Three of it's four legs are slanted and with a subtle dent on the NE side, it looks like it may have been hit by a car. 

In general, the location is pretty good. 13th and Monroe has a fair amount of foot + vehicle traffic making the mailbox accessible and eliminating any concern that it mail wouldn't be picked up regularly. But, it's positioning next to a particularly foul-smelling garbage can reduces its location score. The garbage smells really bad. Not just today, most every time I've passed it, I've noticed how bad it smells. So potent that it seems possible mail sent from this box could carry the stench all the way to its destination.  

Two stars for this mailbox. I'm pretty confident the mail will get delivered despite the box's condition.

Posted on July 2, 2016 .

July 1 - Reality Check

Mailbox Review #1:  ★★★☆☆

Mailbox Review #1: ★★★☆☆

14th & Randolph, NW

With less than 75 minutes to launch this month-long project on time, I hastily left a group of friends at Lyman's to "run a quick errand." Not knowing where to go I headed north on 14th street and almost immediately saw a friendly blue USPS mailbox. What a pleasant surprise! Prior to this moment, I had no clue this mailbox existed – even though I must have passed it dozens of times. Surely this new (and conveniently timed) discovery was a sign the project would be a great success. 

As I approached, I mentally congratulated myself for this early "win" and imagined sending future letters from this newly identified neighborhood amenity. It would easily fit into my regular routine as it's along a common running route and near Red Derby. Perfect. Then, almost on cue, the graffiti of a middle finger and two undesired cat-calls quickly brought those idyllic plans back to reality. "Not so fast," said the mailbox. "I'm here to do one thing: send your mail. I'm not about to be a fixture in your silly life, so send your postcard and move along." Yessir. 

Overall, I grant it three stars. With a sturdy, classic design and highly accessible location (not only is it easy to reach on foot, a nearby driveway facilitates accessibility for cars too), I trust my mail will be delivered. It's tone, though, was a bit edgy for my taste. 


Posted on July 2, 2016 .