Saturday, March 19, 2011

What Were You Doing At Age 16?

Legislative Building, Manitoba, Canada
Crystal wrote the most amazing message on this postcard. She adopted it because it brought back memories of her first apartment, where she could see the back of the Legislative Building. What amazed me is that she had her first apartment when she was 16! At 16 I was barely able to keep my room clean, let alone an entire apartment.

Barely visible at the top of the building is a statue of a golden boy holding a sheaf of grain and torch. Crystal remembers the workers removing the 17 foot (5 meter) tall statue to re-gild it in 2002.  It was an impressive sight, watching that golden boy helped off his perch.

Crystal now lives in Montreal, Quebec, where she writes about mailart, vintage, coffee, music, road trips, photography and kindness on her blog, The House of Hearts.

Friday, March 18, 2011

An Officer and a Gentleman

I "met" Colonel Kumar on and was thrilled to send him a few "orphans" to adopt. He is an army officer and also a very kind gentleman. And very active on SendSomething! I'm hoping to be more active on S2 later this year, after catching up with all my past obligations.

Hampi is an ancient city in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka. The ruins date to the 14th-16th centuries and are UNESCO World Heritage. This building is called Lotus Mahal, and it had piping for running water.

It is appropriate that Colonel Kumar used monkey postage because this area is said to be the original home of the monkey king, Sugriva, in the Hindu epic Ramayana.

I've quite a soft spot for monkeys, however I've never seen one in the wild. Even though our zoo in Pittsburgh is known for its excellent design, the "monkey house" is older and quite atrocious. I always wish I had millions and millions to endow the zoo so they could build a better environment for these animals.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hot Collection

Amy sent this postcard back with arrows on the front, pointing out "boils" in the water. The arrows did not make it through the US Postal System, but I'm pretty sure that if you click the image, you will get a larger image and just above the double "e" in "creek" you will see what looks like bubbly water. That, I believe, is a "boil." It is where the hot spring pours directly into the creek from below.

This area is a very popular swimming spot because the water is so hot. Amy writes that the creek is a 4-5 hour drive from her home, but she has made the drive several times. She "collects" hot springs visits, like I collect visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites :-)

EDIT: I got so carried away with the idea of collecting hot springs, I never even thought of mentioning where Hot Creek is ... Inyo National Forest, in California, near Mammoth Lakes. Thank you Tricia for reminding me of the #1 rule of postcard blogs ... identify location!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Aerial View of Church of the Nativity
Katerina lives in Greece, but visited Israel 40 years ago, at Christmas. She writes that as they climbed up from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it began to snow. When they got to Bethlehem, Shepherd's Field was blanketed in snow. It is not unheard of for Bethlehem to get snow, but it is a rare experience. Katerina writes that it made for an unforgettable trip.

I love this holiday postage Katerina used on this card. And I love that her memory of the trip to Bethlehem coincides to the approximate year this postcard was published. Katerina could not have known that when she adopted the postcard. It was just serendipity.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Of Parliament and Birds

This lovely building is the Dutch Parliament. Mar writes that what many people don't know is that the building is also their oldest castle. It was built in the early 12th century and became the seat of government one hundred years later.

Mar also added the lovely Den Haag postage stamp to this card. The stork is the symbol of Den Haag, but had all but disappeared from the region until about 15 years ago. While researching the significance of storks to Den Haag, I came upon an article that warns against feeding storks, or any bird, bread. It results in malnutrition because the bread fills them up, but doesn't provide the nutrients they need.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Case of Mistaken Identity

This postcard features a restaurant and inn Leipzig, Germany, which makes it a cool addition to my food/beverage collection. However, because my German is pretty much non-existent, and I had a very difficult time reading the ornate font (I think the typeface on this card is special to Germany), I thought the postcard related to just Martin Luther, and these sites had some connection to him. However, the only connection to Martin Luther is a 1519 theological debate that took place in what is now the Leipzig city hall.

What struck me most about this postcard, however, is the postage Diana used. We met via Bookcrossing so I knew Diana is quite a book fanatic. This postage with the teddy bear reading is absolutely adorable. I have hundreds, if not thousands, of postcards from Germany, but I don't think I've ever seen this stamp before. "Kinderb├╝cher" means "books for children." And teddy bears, too!

The other stamp relates to music, but I didn't know that when I saw it and it was another case of completely missing the cultural reference. The ship is the Andrea Doria, an Italian cruise ship that sank off the coast of Massachusetts in the 1950s. I always knew of the Andrea Doria as a tragic event, so the cartoon image on the postage, with the cheerful guy on the bow struck me as crass. However, thanks to the Internet, I learned the stamp is based on a song by a famous German musician, Udo Lindenberg, called "Alles klar auf der Andrea Doria" (All is Clear on the Andrea Doria). Lindenberg designed the postage in 2010. I listened to a bit of the song, but it is a bit too old-fashioned for my taste.

It is also appropriate that Diana used music related postage because, as I have discovered via her Facebook page, she is quite the music fanatic. I've never known anyone who goes to as many concerts as Diana.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Gateway to the Great Southwest

I really like Large Letter postcards. I want to have a custom one that says "Thank You From POSTMUSE" with postmuse being the large letters. It would be a great thank you card to send to OPP participants.

Naomi and her family moved from Washington state to Georgia in December of 2009. They drove through California and into the southwest. When they left Albuquerque, New Mexico,  on 24 December, they were driving into a snowstorm. Snow in the southwest is a major event, and the traffic snarls are epic. The snow hadn't even reached Amarillo, Texas, but Naomi trip came to a complete stop. Four hours later they emerged at the border of Oklahoma and spent Christmas in a hotel. Christmas dinner was in a chain restaurant that was open for all the stranded travelers.

I'm pretty sure when Naomi thinks of Amarillo these days, the slogan "Gateway to the Great Southwest" doesn't ring nearly as true as "Gateway to the Great Snowstorm."