So little of Twitter can be described as wholesome, or affirming of the human spirit, even safe for work, or life.
Every USPS (@everylot_usps) is one of those pure spots of sunshine peeking out of the morass.
The account, which has gained over 3,000 followers since it started in July, is simple. Every half-hour, it posts a picture of a U.S. Postal Service office and tells you where you can find it.
Most of the photos are pretty mundane – Google-enabled street view pictures of square-ish buildings in small towns with American flags out front. But together, they create an interesting collage, punctuated by odd and outdated little structures still quietly and thanklessly toiling away at the business of distributing mail.
There’s this narrow, poetically rickety little place in Curllsville, Pennsylvania.
I would absolutely watch a TV show set in/around this post office https://t.co/JRhm75LdUm— Burrill Strong (@sgtwolverine) August 18, 2020
And this pastoral-looking brick number in Middleport, New York.
MIDDLEPORT: 42 MAIN ST, MIDDLEPORT NY 14105-9998 pic.twitter.com/N1R4k21VZC— every usps (@everylot_usps) August 18, 2020
And yes, some fine examples from our home state.
LAKE LILLIAN: 454 LAKEVIEW ST, LAKE LILLIAN MN 56253-9525 pic.twitter.com/ucGrGYmvFr— every usps (@everylot_usps) August 12, 2020
ELBOW LAKE: 16 1ST AVE SE, ELBOW LAKE MN 56531-9998 pic.twitter.com/mhIq0p49Me— every usps (@everylot_usps) August 12, 2020
RUSHMORE: 108 N THOMPSON AVE, RUSHMORE MN 56168-9500 pic.twitter.com/PIimnGejx6— every usps (@everylot_usps) August 10, 2020
WILLMAR: 401 TROTT AVE SW, WILLMAR MN 56201-3367 pic.twitter.com/qe1Oe5JS2D— every usps (@everylot_usps) August 12, 2020
The account was created by Peter Bajurny of MInneapolis, a computer engineer with the University of Minnesota, a contributor to the streets.mn website, and, according to his Twitter profile, an “urbanist, nerd,” and “single family renter.”
If you dabble in Minneapolis city planning Twitter, you might recognize Bajurny as the guy who humbly suggested the city stop giving neighborhood associations so much power and recognition via post-it note a few years ago. This seemingly benign, nerdy, and unglorious act prompted a very stern 1,100-word email response from a group of pissed-off downtown neighborhood orgs, and Bajurny proudly pinned it to the top of his Twitter feed.
TFW you throw the city's neighborhood-industrial complex into a tizzy with a post-it note pic.twitter.com/S92oy6iiLn— Peter "Norman Borlaug stan" Bajurny ���� (@fishmanpet) March 6, 2017
He wasn’t available for comment on his new benign, nerdy, and unglorious venture, but in a series of tweets, he called @everylot_usps his “very small way of taking a stand against the growing fascism in this country.”
“I built @everylot_usps because I saw a picture of a pretty post office and wanted to see more, but it ended up being a way to highlight the diversity of places in this country as well as highlighting how the @USPS serves the ENTIRE country,” he tweeted.
I built @everylot_usps because I saw a picture of a pretty post office and wanted to see more, but it ended up being a way to highlight the diversity of places in this country as well as highlighting how the @USPS serves the ENTIRE country— Peter "Norman Borlaug stan" Bajurny ���� (@fishmanpet) August 18, 2020
The U.S. Postal Service has been under threat of cuts and potential privatization for years, which has come to a head during the Trump administration.
Most recently, President Donald Trump has denied aid to the institution – one of the nation’s oldest and most reliable – during the crush of the pandemic, placed a big-time campaign supporter named Louis DeJoy in the Postmaster General’s seat, and staunchly opposed mail-in voting. He claimed the latter, without a scrap of evidence, would foment rampant voter fraud.
On Thursday, he finally approved some Postal Service support stuck into a larger coronavirus relief bill but remained firm in his convictions.
Attorneys general in more than 20 states, including Minnesota's Keith Ellison, are suing the administration for attempting to gut the Postal Service – most distressingly during a time when mail-in voting could save a lot of people from transmitting COVID-19 at polling places.
Civically minded Post Office fans are trying to stanch the bleeding of funding and resources by buying up stamps and merch, and signing petitions left and right. Making these humble post offices the star of their own show, even for a moment, helps remind us why we bother.