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) 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) 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) 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) 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.
161) Bike series (10/15). This is one of those photos where I just can lie about where I am. Seriously, if I tried to pass this off as being in Times Square, you’d immediately call me out because the window treatments in that third-floor apartment definitely do not reflect east coast stylings. Plus, the street sign.
160) Bike series (9/15). Quick, where did your eyes track when you first saw this photo? Did you look at the mailbox, or maybe my bright yellow vest? Or did you go right to the 7-Eleven in the background and think of all the delicious Slurpees lurking inside? Cold, icy Slurpees… mmmmmmm….
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.)
158) Bike series (7/15). By now you know that my mailbox photos tend to be taken from a little ways back, so I can best showcase the full top-to-bottom glory of each box. When I came upon this happy fellow, however, I knew that I had to get in nice and close.
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?