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Selfies in Seattle

Customer visits every blue box in city

USPS customer stands next to blue box
David Peterman stands next to a blue collection box at South Edmunds Street and Rainier Avenue in Seattle, the subject of one of his Mailboxes of Seattle blog posts.

When Seattle resident David Peterman is asked why he visited more than 340 mailboxes throughout the city, he has a simple answer.

“Why not?”

Peterman spent about a year taking selfies with the blue collection boxes and documenting his adventure through a Tumblr blog, Mailboxes of Seattle. (Some employees are unable to view Tumblr sites on postal computers.)

“When I told people about this project, they would wonder: Why would I do this? But then they would open up and start talking about their favorite one. It also awakened little memories in people growing up with mailboxes,” Peterman said.

He got the idea for his project after discovering a map of the city’s blue boxes and wondering how long it would take to visit each one. To find out for himself, he made a goal of visiting at least one mailbox a day for a year.

Peterman began his journey by first going to the four corners of the city and then working his way back in, visiting mailboxes randomly.

“This … took me to parts of the city I’ve never been,” he said.

Peterman made fun discoveries along the way — like a box adorned with googly eyes — and he picked up several followers, including a letter carrier who tipped him off to a box at an old bus stop where the vegetation is so overgrown, you can barely see it.

Peterman was joined by friends and fans he had never met when he finished his quest in mid-February by visiting his 346th and final collection box — although he soon learned about two more boxes he didn’t know about.

Yes, he visited those, too — and snapped the selfies to prove it.

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