#291: Ballard, 26th Ave NW at NW 57th St

291) It is with a bit of bittersweet whimsy that I post this particular photo. Why? Because with this post I officially close out the expansive region of Ballard and its surrounding territories. Ballard has been a dependable source of boxes, always ready to offer one up whenever I was in need of a quick shot. But the well has run dry and this box proudly serves as an endcap to a glorious run.

#280: Ballard, NW Market St at 22nd Ave NW

280) In a stinging social commentary, this photo brilliantly captures two items that are fighting valiantly to survive in today’s world. In the foreground, we have the proud mailbox, dutifully serving the postal needs of a public that increasingly doesn’t correspond through the handwritten word. In the background, we have a record store, one of the relatively few that has managed to hang on in a world gone digital. They’re both survivors. But for how much longer?

#272: Ballard, NW 57th St at 15th Ave NW

272) I think I’ve found it. I think I’ve found one of the saddest mailbox in all of Seattle. Despite being in a nice neighborhood next to a nice grocery store, this mailbox knows a pain of which we humans have no equivalent. It’s been tagged and crudely painted. It has a painful rust problem. But worse of all, it has a crippled snorkel. In order for snorkels to be effective, they must be paired with proper traffic flow and restrictions. Cars must be able freely pull up so the mail can be deposited! There can be no parking in front of the snorkel! This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen.

#243: Ballard, 32nd Ave NW at NW 59th St

243) Why am I standing all tilted like that? The camera caught me as I was restlessly shifting back and forth, as I had been waiting there for over three hours. The box kept insisting that I stay because “there’s someone I really want you to meet… he’ll be here any moment.” Needless to say, that person never showed up and I never did figure out what con the box was running.

#235: Ballard, 17th Ave NW at NW 57th St

235) There’s something real freaky going on with this box, man. A few weeks ago, I visited this location and took a photo very similar to the one you see here. But when I got home, the photo… was GONE! Poof! Vanished! Sure, I probably accidentally hit the little trash can icon while fumbling with my phone, but I prefer to believe that sinister forces were at work that day. Fortunately, however, those sinister forces apparently took the day off, so here’s a replacement shot.

Ballard, Ballard Ave NE at NW Vernon Place

159) Bike series (8/15). One of the best things about this project is discovering interesting street names that have escaped me all these years. Seattle streets are about 95% number-based and many of the word-named streets are rather well known (e.g. Denny or Pike or Dexter). But then there are little gems like Vernon Place. Existing for a scant two blocks in old Ballard, what Vernon Place lacks in length it makes up for in having a mailbox. (Yes, I totally made up that “95%” part.)

Ballard, 9th Ave NW at NW 51st St

157) Bike series (6/15). As I duck into Ballard, I find a great example of the technique called “Using Not Quite the Right Color Paint to Cover Graffiti.” Yes, the box is blue and the paint is blue, but let’s face it… they don’t match. Maybe the paint is the official color, but the box has faded. Maybe the paint was applied by a neighbor and that was the closest they had. The question is, does it look better or worse than the graffiti it covers?