Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

You might be wondering where the Little Mail Carriers went after their magical cruise in the Bermudas last year! The little guys jumped over the water to Mexico city, where exciting adventures awaited them… but then the pandemic hit and everyone big and small had to shelter and keep safe. When things reopened though, they donned their tiny homemade masks, and went out to explore a very special place in the capital city of Mexico: the Palacio Postal, or Postal Palace. Here’s what they wrote back:

The Little Mail Carriers stand atop an old safe
The Post Master’s office had an original safe, with the name of the office: Correos de México.

Hola everyone! 👋 Postcrosser Rose (aka Rousita) is our host for what was supposed to be a short stop in Mexico city earlier last year, but ended up being a long adventure! When she invited us over, she mentioned a “palace for all postal services”, and we were immediately intrigued and eager to check it out… wouldn’t you be?

Palacio Postal's facade
The main facade of the building.

The history of this place goes back to the beginning of the 20th century, when there was an important increase of demand of all postal services in the country. The President of Mexico was Porfirio Diaz, who was inclined towards European style architecture, so in 1900 his government decided to build a large building, close to the main plaza of the city, called Zócalo.

Palacio Postal's very fancy staircase
The elegant staircase, made in Italy.

He appointed Adamo Boari, an Italian engineer, as the head designer and the first stone was set in 1902. As part of the crew was also Gonzalo Garita, Mexican engineer, who oversaw the design of the metal structure that sustains the building. It was inaugurated on February 17, 1907, just three years before the Revolution war started in Mexico.

Palacio Postal's very fancy staircase

The building was designed to be functional, but at the same time, very beautiful. The architectural style is Spanish Gothic Revival (Plateresco), with a lot of other styles mixed in, in a wonderfully eclectic mixture. One of the most beautiful sites is the main staircase, made of steel. It was crafted in Florence, Italy by Fonderia Pignone and assembled all in site. All public activities take place on the first floor and the postmaster’s office is on the second floor.

Old typewriter on the postmaster's desk
From the postmaster’s desk, he could see through the window when the train arrived from Veracruz and brought all the mail to be distributed daily.
Library and antique postal scales
The library was really beautiful, and we even got the chance to play on the scales!

We were surprised about the height and elegance of halls and offices, the library and the postmaster’s office. It’s really impressive that this building has continued to work as a post office, after a century. Probably one of the most beautiful post offices in the world, and it has even been featured in several postcards and stamps over the years!

A selection of themed postcards about the Palacio Postal

Now that Mexico Post has resumed operations, it’s time for us to jump to our next destination. Stay tuned for more adventures coming soon!

Thank you Rose for giving the little guys a tour of this majestic post office, and to her partner, Dr. Martin Checa-Artasu, for taking such nice photos and letting us use them in the post! 😍

If your post office is especially neat, or you’d like to host the Little Mail Carriers and show them around your town, let us know in the comments below. We’re always looking for new hosts and interesting things to see — bonus points if they’re postal-themed!

on

Tags: ,

Stationery Heaven

You know when you enter a stationery shop and your eyes go wide in delight, as if you were stepping into a magical kingdom full of treasures? With so many physical shops closed these days, it’s hard to replicate this feeling… but now and then I get the same thrill of excitement while browsing a shop online, and Stationery Heaven is one of those places!

Nina, who is a postcrosser herself, stocks her online shop with so many kawaii stationery — from letter-writing sets, to washi tapes, stickers, greeting cards… and of course, lots and lots of postcards!

Stationery Heaven has been advertising in Postcrossing for many years now, so you might have already stumbled on their exquisite selection of postcards, featuring tons of familiar illustrators and brand names, like Edition Tausendschön, Art Unlimited, Lali Riddles, Tushita… even postcard books and sets on different topics! Whether you’re interested in art, transportation, reading or mailboxes, there’s really something for everyone’s taste.

Stationery Heaven selection

And now, for the best part! Stationery Heaven is offering a mix pack of 10 postcards to 5 lucky postcrossers! 🎉 Pretty neat, right?

For a chance to receive one of these packs of postcards, visit the website and leave a comment below, telling us which postcard (or series of postcards) is your favorite of all! Sounds like deceptively simple task, but be warned — you will lose yourself in the middle of a postcard wonderland…

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… rosyhayley, isalovestheocean, Birte777, taniaj78 and rubber_ducky! Congratulations everyone, thank you for your enthusiastic participation!

on

Tags: ,

Here it is, the day we’ve all been waiting for — it’s time to wrap up the 8th edition of our Cards for Literacy campaign with Deutsche Post, and finally reveal the results from 2020! Sooooo many postcrossers have once more enthusiastically embraced the challenge, and dutifully written as many postcards as they could. Those postcards were really flying out in all directions!

I know you’re all curious to know the final results, so here goes:

Postcrossers in Germany sent a total of 117,294 postcards during December, raising €11,729.40 for Stiftung Lesen!
post yellow

Hurraaaaaaaay! 🎉🎉🎉 This is the best result we’ve ever had in the Postcards for Literacy campaign, breaking the previous record by over €1500 — brilliant! We’re so, so proud of all the German members, for joining this good cause and rallying together to make their postcards extra meaningful last December. It’s been really heartwarming to see.

Even if you’re not in Germany, if you’ve received some postcards from there in the past few months, then it’s likely that you too have taken part in this campaign and contributed to this achievement — well done!

We’d like to take a momento to express our gratitude to Deutsche Post as well, for continuing this long-standing collaboration with Postcrossing and renewing their commitment to improve literacy in Germany, year after year. I think we all appreciate the opportunity of being able to do something good with our postcards, especially in such a difficult year as 2020. 😊

So, all that is left to do now is for Paulo to run his script to choose the winners of this year’s prizes. If you’re in Germany and participated in this campaign, keep an eye on your email — you might be the lucky winner of some shiny custom stamps or a new messenger bag.

on

Tags: , , ,

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcard’s messages every month. These are just  suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

March’s writing prompt is about bridges… big or small, sturdy or wobbly, they keep us connected over rivers, valleys or other obstacles. Do you have bridges that are special to you, or which you’d like to visit?

In March, write about a bridge that’s important to you, or one you’d like to visit.
Seal from the Animal Wall

Personally, a couple of bridges come to mind. I don’t really have a favourite bridge for architectural reasons, or because they’re particularly beautiful or in beautiful places. For me, as soon as you say “bridge” I think about the bridge over the Taff in Cardiff, which you cross immediately after passing Cardiff Castle and the Animal Wall (pictured! Image is by Keith Edkins) on the left. It’s really close to where my nan lived, so it’s familiar from years and years of visiting my grandparents. Cross that bridge in the other direction, and I’m walking to a second-hand bookshop, Waterstones, the library… It’s home, even though I haven’t lived in Cardiff for a while now.

I can’t really think of any bridges up here in South Yorkshire, but there are quite a few bridges in Cardiff, where my family are from, that I have nostalgic feelings about. Most of them are small bridges in a park, over streams which my grandad would have to (try to) stop me jumping into…

How about you? In your postcards this month, you can write about your favourite bridges, bridges you want to see, famous bridges in your country… and you can let us know here in the comments, too!

on

Tags:

Whose brilliant idea was it to make a huge census before the end of the year, knowing very little of survey design and statistics? 🙋‍♀️ In theory, it sounded like a good idea… but then soooo many more of you replied than we expected, that it has definitely been a challenge to parse through all this data and make sense of the replies. Slowly though, we’re making our way through the numbers and getting a better idea of who postcrossers are, and how we can more effectively stir the project in the future.

So let’s start this analysis by the basics and try to paint a picture of who postcrossers are, based on the things that stand out from the census.

Gender distribution in Postcrossing Age distribution in Postcrossing

We knew this already, but Postcrossing continues to be a lot more popular among women overall, and the age range of the typical postcrosser is quite spread out. Somehow, I expected to see more teenagers reflected in the statistics… but then again, I can’t imagine a teen having the patience to reply to a survey, so that may explain it. 😅 Overall, we’re quite happy about this age distribution, which tells us this is a community that is made out of not just young people, but older generations as well.

Urban vs rural distribution in Postcrossing How comfortable are postcrossers with computers and the internet?

About 74% of people surveyed live in what they consider urban areas, which in hindsight is probably something we should have defined better, as the line between a city and something else is often not very clear — another thing to improve on the next census. And finally, most of us feel very comfortable using computers and the internet (which was option 5 in the scale).

socialmedia

Not unexpectedly given their popularity, most postcrossers seem to prefer Instagram over other types of social media, followed closely by Youtube and Facebook, with Twitter a distant fourth. Note for 2021's census: do a better job at including non-English social networks, which we completely missed! Still, quite a few of you mentioned VK (the Russian social network), Whatsapp and Telegram, WeChat and Weibo and even websites like Ravelry, Goodreads and Bookcrossing.

Stamp collection

One of the questions asked “Are you a collector?”, and 37% of you mentioned you weren’t collectors at all, but almost half of the respondents said they collected postcards and 20% mentioning being stamp collectors. Keep in mind that this was a multiple choice reply, so there’s likely some overlap of people who are collectors of more than one item.

Beyond postcards and stamps, the answers split into a myriad of replies, all with just a tiny percentage each. Here are the top 10 most popular collections: currency, books, magnets, stickers, bookmarks, pens/pencils, rocks/minerals, dolls, tea and art. What we found most interesting though were the choices that just a few people picked, like thimbles, snow globes, fruit stickers, rubber ducks, funko pops… the list stretches into infinity! That said, 11 of you mentioned collecting “elephants” and we hope these don’t refer to the actual animal, or you’ll quickly run out of space at home… 😅

That’s all for today! We’ll continue extracting statistics from the census and will report on them throughout the year. Stay tuned!

on

Tags: ,