The postcard options in my hometown of Toronto have been pretty slim for years. Occasionally, I’ll spot a gem in an unexpected spot.
I do save money but not being tempted often here by postcard purchases – as my recent trip to Vancouver set me back at least $25 (the highest one-time acquisition total ever). Recently, however, my local hunting has been more rewarding, such as these two recent prizes found at a downtown pharmacy:
I love the flora framing the snapshots of Toronto. Although, I can assure you that nowhere would one find a garden of daffodils positioned this way (the shot would be taken from Toronto Island).
The read maple leaf motif on the first postcard is also quite impactful if incongruous against the backdrop of the highrises of Toronto, the big bad, – the leaf motif emphasizes Toronto’s prime position in this great dominion of Canada!
With the Pan American Games currently in Toronto, I thought for sure that there would be postcards depicting the games or the adorable mascot Patchi. But in searching the city and the official Pam Am stores, there are zero games-related postcards. The winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia had great postcards (see a sample), so I’m really disappointed that we can’t even have one!
As a small consulation, I have noticed that many stores in Toronto have now updated their Toronto postcards with much more contemporary and visually appealing items. The past few years in Toronto our offerings of postcards of our city have largely been dismal and dated (with a few exceptions of course). But as the city has gussied itself for hosting the games, so to have our postcard offerings (yeah!).
In passing by a rack last week, I immediately noticed this beautiful gem:
Even the back design is quite nice:
There were several attractive Toronto postcards – but at $1 each (rather a lot for a non-gimmick or large format postcard) I had to be selective. Here’s another of my favourites I found that day:
It’s of Toronto’s Dundas Square (beside the Eaton Centre). It was created in 1997 and is now one of the most lively places in the city for live events, demonstrations, festivals, or just hanging out. But until now I haven’t seen it depicted in postcard form, which indicates about the last time the city updated its postcard imagery. So thankfully, the Pam Am Games here have had one lasting legacy.
Today, my family is taking me away to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Not a number I’m particularly happy about so let’s skip that unpleasantness. But for a recent milestone birthday, my wife took me to Chicago for a weekend.
It was my first time to Chicago. As a great lake town in January (this month is the worst month to have a birthday) it was snowy and incredibly cold so we nicknamed Chicago as the “arctic windy city”.
But we had a great time – saw the tourist sites of Navy Pier and the Shedd Aquarium, hung out at Art Institute (my daughter particularly loving their miniatures collection), skate at the top of the Hancock tower, ate deep dish pizza, and enjoyed the United States’ liberal happy hour laws.
We sent my mother this postcard below. It doesn’t show up but the sky is filled with glitter – very appropriate for the never-ending snowfall we endured there.
Our daughter draw a picture of her thoughts on the trip on the back of a postcard.
“Hancock Tower Downtown Chicago”
“[The kid] on the town. She loved Chicago! It was a blast of fun (and cold).”
It was a great birthday blast bash!
It was just about ten years ago that I noticed shiny, glitter-filled postcards becoming more mainstream – and sold at a premium, of course. But although my daughter has got many such shiny postcards, I don’t think I’ve ever received one.
Until I got this postcard last week (my second of 2014):
This is a most welcome addition to the Collection to provide an important specimen for such a prominent and SHINY emerging genre. And so appropriate that it’s from Vegas the shiny, glitter capital of the World.
Here’s Vegas’ less-shiny side:
“Back in Vegas yet again! I hope of the glitter on these postcards make it to you! [It did – yeah!] I’m downtown at the Golden Nugget, then moving to MGM Saturday and Harrah’s On Monday. Cheerio.”
Ahh to have such ennui at a visit to Vegas. One could be here in Ontario where it has been around minus 20 Celsius (minus 30 with wind-chill factor) warmed only at the joy of receiving such fine new specimens!
Having collected postcards for many years, I often see the same images of the popular destinations. For example, a postcard of Toronto is almost always going to have the CN Tower in it. I have a lot of postcards from San Francisco, but when I received the following item last week, I saw a image I haven’t seen before of the city by the bay:
My capture of the postcard doesn’t do the picture justice, as it is quite a dramatic composition of the clouds sweeping over the city. It’s rare to see so much of a postcard devoted to the sky rather than the normal focus of the cityscape. I really like getting a fresh perspective on well-known places.
Here’s the reverse side:
Top: Above San Francisco
Bottom: A rain cloud in on the city by the bay.
Greeting from San Francisco. I am visiting friends here, before driving up to Corvallis, Oregon to see my brother. Weather is spectacular! I’ve always felt Norther California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia are the most beautiful part of North America. I hope your [uncertain] studies are going along well. I was at a party last week with a Canadian who taught at York University. [uncertain] Best wishes,”
I’m really having a hard time reading the backs of these things as there is also a word I can’t read above where my old address was used and it appears the post office stroke out my old address.
Look what came in the mail today:
I’ve been through Edmonton, Alberta twice and had no idea they had pyramids! See what postcards can teach you? The sender knew he was onto something:
“The pyramids of Edmonton! Flight leaving soon.”
The flight must have been leaving soon as I’ve never seen a stamp placed so askew. I understand the short message as he was in Edmonton after all.