What do you love about your city?

Postcards: Bodegas and donut shops and carousels

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A postcard to the Riverbank State Park Carousel in New York, where the animals are made from children’s drawings

Have you looked at a twirly wire display of the postcards for your city recently? They all are the same: the skyline with a setting sun, the skyline with mid-day sun, an iconic building, a famous statue (Hello, Statue of Liberty!), but do they really show off your city, the one you spend your days in? Chances are, probably not. The geographical places that make up our days are usually far less photographed, and usually nowhere to be found in tourist guides, but isn’t that the best thing about our lived-in cities?

This spring, I asked a bunch of New Yorkers to draw postcards to their favourite places in the city, and there was not a single Empire State Building to be found. Instead, check them out:

MARTINEZ GROCERY

I get limes and candy from the local bodega only from time to time, but Mr. Martinez says hello to me every single morning. Then every single evening, Mars, the friendliest bodega cat in the world, says hello. He meows, he purrs, he shows me his belly. He gets his fur all over my pants. If it’s nice out, he might be asleep in his basket behind the tomatoes, but he lets me poke him to wake him up so I can get my daily greeting.

PETER PAN DONUTS

I lived in Greenpoint for years before trying Peter Pan Donuts. People would say, “Oh! You live in Greenpoint! Don’t you love Peter Pan?!!?” Honestly, I didn’t think there could be anything special about a donut. I was so wrong! These donuts are something to write home about and the character of the place makes them taste even better. It’s full of 80-year-olds, the coffee is terrible, and the cashiers are surly…but at least they’re forced to wear these adorable old-fashioned uniforms. An excellent way to spend a Sunday morning.

Aren’t they amazing???

What are three local landmarks that anchor your day? You don’t have to be an incredible illustrator to turn the familiar into something to be lauded and celebrated. A few quick lines on a piece of paper or cardstock, with a description on the back is enough! Post them to Instagram and Twitter with #loveletteringproject and #happyhere!

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