Eyesore of the Week: Mailboxes of Tribeca

I inherited this pet peeve from my first editor, whose disgust with the graffiti-covered mailboxes of the Bronx led him to buy a can of blue paint. This is federal property and the Post Office should care for it properly — and give our streets a bit of a pick-me-up. The photos here are just a sampling, but you get the idea. And I count the green relay boxes the same as blue guys.

I am not a USPS hater — in fact I use it all the time (I send a lot of letters) and I love stamps as objects. The ability to send a note clear across the country for 55 cents is still the best deal in town. And I know the USPS doesn’t get tax dollars and runs its operations from the sale of its products and services. (And it is hogtied by Congress: by law, the USPS can’t raise the price of stamps more than the rate of inflation without congressional approval.)

But still.

This is what they should look like (with a little touch up):



  1. Would also be great if Councilwoman Chin would get the ACE program back in Tribeca. The sidewalks around Reade Street/Greenwich and the gutters are filled with bottles and trash.


  2. Agreed. In the vandalized condition, they are a complete eyesore.

  3. I thought I had read something about the 1st Precinct having some sort of graffiti clean up program going on — and yet there’s more graffiti on my neighboring streets than ever before. (as you mentioned Reade St/Greenwich as well as Staple Street has really gone down hill with the more graffiti/trash/booze bottles and kids getting high.

  4. Wow. The Canal Street post office; Margaret Chin; and the 1st Police Precinct, all on the same comments page. It’s like a do-nothing trifecta!

  5. So NIMBYs want to stop all forms of gentrification, which means, keep my ‘hood crapy so I can afford to still live here, but mailboxes with ‘character’ are bad? please…..

  6. Agreed about USPS…I even like the old Canal Street Post Office. And I also marvel at this massive system that can get a letter from here to there so quickly and so cheaply. It’s all “old-school”, but (most of the time) it works.

    (I didn’t know that USPS doesn’t get tax dollars; I assumed it was subsidized that way).

    • Indeed they do not received any tax payers $ but they have been saddled by criminal demands created by Washington politicians to advance pay their pensions to the point of almost collapsing under the weight of it all. I wonder who was paying off those politicians? Look into it – shocking in a democracy.

  7. I don’t think it’s an accident that the two you show in “better” condition are actual mailboxes (meant for non-postal-employees to send letters) and the vandalized ones are all some sort of official-use-only storage. Are we sure USPS actively uses all the green ones?

    • They definitely use the one in front of my building, but I see your point. Of course, if they don’t use them, they can take them off the street. We could always use less “furniture” on the sidewalks.

  8. I like them… it’s a form of art for me and reminds me that I live in NYC where people are free to express themselves in different ways. Yes, if you really want to dot the i, it is vandalism, but on such a minor level…on a mail box. It has a history. In the art world, some graffiti sells for millions. If you desire perfectly clean and shiny neighborhoods then let’s talk about the construction and the thousand rats running around the street… that’s serious and can bring a huge health risk. Grafiti and stickers on post boxes…. let it rest. IMO.

  9. Hopefully anyone wanting to feel helpful and repainting collection boxes can make sure they’re painting those blue and the distribution boxes green.

  10. Why doesn’t Bisoman fall into this category of eyesoredom? Aren’t they both vandalism, thus a crime? Asking for a police friend.