Pale Male - (May 2011) - update
T.O.A.S.T 2011 - wait until April (29-May 2, 2011).

THE Post Office ! Miracle on 34th Street! NYC Marathon!

After 42nd Street, the double decker buses take the longer sightseeing route to Macy's because they cannot make the left hand turn on 34th Street.

Sc000042e7_2    The James Farley Post Office is a major sight along the way. The highlighted website article is old (not as old as the postcard info here) but the pictures are great. Across the top of the building is the quote "Neither snow nor rain...". This is not the motto of the Postal Service but a quote from Herodotus' Histories. Hopefully, my niece will post a comment to my post since the articles I've seen about Herodotus are TMI (too much information) for this blog. Someday, there WILL be a new train station in the Post Office space.

Sc000063bc_2  Whenever I am stuck in traffic here, I remember the great scene in Miracle on 34th Street when the postal workers decide to deliver all the Santa Claus letters to the courthouse.  This post office has been part of the Secret Santa program since before the movie.  The steps are a great place to take big group pictures.

I also remember my favorite NYC line standing adventure(s). They took place in the dark ages before the Internet when many many more people wanted to run the NYC Marathon than would ever be accepted. In 1984, I think that less than 25.000 runners were accepted. Today there are over 45,000 runners in the best tour of NYC ever invented.

Anyway, the rules back then were, a certain number of people were entered on a first come first served basis when they mailed their application in. The catch was, you couldn't have your request for an entry postmarked before midnight on a certain day. In those days, THE post office was open AND staffed 24 by 7. So, the ritual was, you lined up around the post office and at midnight you mailed your REQUEST for an application to run the NYC Marathon.

In 81, my brother asked me to mail his application. I went home, went to a movie and stood in the very very long line that snaked around the building for about an hour or so. In 84, I wanted to run so I decided to join the line right after work. People would ask - "What is the line for? Civil Service Exam?" and we'd say "No - THE Marathon" and they'd say "Oh - The Marathon".  People really didn't want to know that we were standing in line to request an application to pay money to run 26.2 miles (44 km?) through all 5 boroughs in all kinds of weather.

By midnight we were singing. We'd become friends and I knew that I had been in the line longer than it would probably take me to run the Marathon at my very slow pace. It was part of the training.

For more about waiting, lines, and crowd planning  go here.


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Thank you for the compliment! I hope you enjoy the post about International Tourist Guide Day.

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