Sunday, August 16, 2009

Feels Like the 101st Time

You know those things you walk by a hundred times but don't notice? These mailboxes are one of those things for me.

John and I lived in beautiful Altadena when we first got married and I became a regular customer of some businesses there. One was Merit Dry Cleaners on Mariposa and the other was Webster's on Lake, which was one store at the time but is now divided up into, oh, nine or ten different shops. I kid, I kid! Webster's is a card/gift store, a stationery shop, a pharmacy and a liquor store.

Did I miss any?

Though I now live in Pasadena I'm still a customer of these shops (including Merit Dry Cleaners). The other day I was in Webster's Fine Stationers and I noticed these mailboxes. I've walked past them how many times? They look like the old timey kind, don't they?

It turns out they are. I asked Scott Webster about them (when you're a customer as long as I've been, you get to know a Webster or two); Scott said his dad, who's of the second generation of Websters to run the business, acquired them from a mailbox store on South Lake Avenue when it went out of business some years ago. Not sure which mailbox store it was, but at least the boxes are from within the Pasadena family, so to speak. They've been in the stationery store for a long while now.

They're having a tea party up at Webster's Fine Stationery this afternoon at 3:00. Don't go spilling your Earl Grey on the thank-you notes.


Cafe Pasadena said...

I'm co-hosting a going away party for a few friends in Arcadia at the same time. So, I'll have to pass on the tea. (Anyway, I know how your afternoon teas tend to get a bit outta control or just expensive)

But, if you see Mr.Earl around, warn him about spilling his liquid on the notes, P.

Laughing Boy said...

What beautiful mailboxes and great angle! If only people still took the time to make ordinary things more beautiful and interesting, like mailboxes. Ah well, I'm glad you noticed these and I'll be stopping by Webster's soon to see them myself. :]

Shell Sherree said...

I wish my PO Box was as gorgeous as these, Petrea! And I'm glad Webster's is still 'in the family'. Happy Tea Time!

Virginia said...

"Spilling my Earl Gray on the thank you notes!" I love that and I love Websters Fine Startioners. In fact, I love a stationery store of any kind. I have tons of cute thank you notes and rarely send one! That is NOT the "southern" way you know.

I digress. Love the old timey mailboxes. Glad they caught your eye!

Sarah said...

Since your today's photo does not apper to me (because of banding!) I can not say my opinion. But thank you for your recent comments on my blog ;)

pasadenaadjacent said...

They've got a bit of that greek vibe going for them on the trim.

My hearts desire is to acquire card catalogue shelving (I don't know what else to call it). The kind we used to use in libraries. They don't show up on curbs.

Petrea said...

Have fun today, Cafe. Nice of you to co-host.

Welcome, Laughing Boy! I think people still make ordinary things beautiful, but of course it's expensive and you know the story. We have to keep our eyes wide open to find the art because it doesn't just come to us.

I'm thinking of decorating mine, Shell. It needs a flourish.

Virginia, it's not the southern way to send a thank you card? Really? What's the southern way? My mother was from North Carolina (is that too far north?) and she taught me to send them!

Hi Sarah: sorry you can't see it! But at least we can communicate, and that's the most important thing.

Trish said...

venture into Laurie's territory and see SoPas's mailboxes over on Fremont and El Centro---they have been a similar delight for eons.

Webster's---a local tradition. As long as you're around, you might as well stop, they've got something you need.

Laurie said...

I posted a few months ago about the South Pas mailboxes Trish mentioned. I just love them.

I'm with PA about wanting old card catalog shelves/drawers. I've always loved those.

Linda Dove said...

I forgot to pick up my skirts from Merit's yesterday, your post reminds me.

Love the Big W, too, of course.

Michael Coppess said...

Our post office in east Pas used to have these old mail boxes. But, the post office recently moved to a brand new building and I think the old boxes were replaced with new shiney, flat blah covers. I like these old boxes.

Petrea said...

Hi PA! Must have crossed over in the ether. Yeah, I love those old card files. If/when I ever see them they're at antique stores with high price tags.

Those South Pas ones sound lovely. Can you link us, Laurie, or tell us what search terms to use on your blog?

Say hi for me, Linda.

Doesn't that seem so unlike Pasadena, Michael? I hope they found a re-use for them.

Ms M said...

Nice photo. Love seeing the old-style mail boxes. I used one similar to those years ago while living in Oregon.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I've been to de new & improved Postal center over in the "Subway Mini-Mall". It is definitely better than the old East Pasa PO - except for the ancient mailboxes.

Italo said...

Nice post as always Petrea :) You're right about these things. And for mailboxes. When I lived in the historical centre of my village we had an old mail box: it was an old little window in steal and with a roman stone like "pavement". If I pass these days in the nearby I will take a picture (you know, if I have to explain it in ENglish:( ahhahahah)

Parisian Heart said...

How elegant! What a beautiful taste of your city!

Petrea said...

I haven't seen the new P.O. but I'll see it sooner or later. I can't quite picture the "Subway mini-mall."

Italo, I'd love to see a photo of the mailboxes in the old village center. I'll go check now and see if you've put it up.

Nice to see you, Parisian Heart! And Ms. M, too, as always.