Tuesday, May 31, 2016

World Stamp Show 2016 - NYC Recap

On Sunday, May 29th, I attended the World Stamp Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. I kicked off the morning with a little Letter Writers Alliance meetup at a cafe near the Javits. What better way to get myself out of bed at 7am than the promise of coffee and letter writing with other likeminded people? The city was quiet-- Memorial Day weekend plus Sunday morning equals no one but tourists and service industry workers out and about at 9am.

Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" Biplane, the subject of the infamous "Inverted Jenny" 24-cent stamp error. Inverted Jenny stamps have sold for more than $1 million USD each.

I really wanted the Views of Our Planets stamps, but they didn't come out until May 31st.

I was tired that morning, and anxious about meeting new people and going to things alone, but determined to follow through. I am very glad I did. It's a lovely treat to be surrounded by people with similar interests-- and neuroses around said interests. Like how good the hand-cancel on your first day cover is.

Mail out to League members... and myself! I would absolutely work this counter for eight hours, eight days straight. How does one get the job of cover canceler?

I stood at a table writing postcards and letters to League members while others frantically but precisely affixed postage stamps to their covers to get them canceled. That scene is all totally normal, right?

This lovely person took all my fake credit card money after someone else took all my cash. When I find myself in Clive, Iowa, I'll definitely be paying a visit to their store, Coins, Stamps, & Stuff. They were very helpful and nice. These bins (there were about four times more bins than what you see here) all contained full sheets of US stamps at face value.

Even though the USPS had, essentially, package Tetris on a gigantic video screen, Canada Post wins coolest booth because Star Trek! *swoon*

I've been interested in mail and stamps since I was a small child, though I've never been a "serious collector." I'm more interested in using different kinds of stamps to liven up my mail, and always try to buy commemorative issues before definitives (though let's be real-- if they're not American flag stamps, I will likely buy them). I still love seeing what stamps make their way through to me. It was way more exciting as a kid, because the Internet wasn't widespread enough to just look up stamps from other countries with a click. I had to patiently wait for mail to actually arrive at my house so I could see what cool stamps were being used on letters from the Philippines my Lola would mail to my mom. I'd steam them off by putting the envelopes in the rice cooker (Bonus: I used jasmine rice as glue to, um, stick stamps back onto a different envelope when I had envelope-addressing accidents. At least, this is what I did then. I doubt the pressure-adhesive would steam off very well these days.)

I got two sheets of these stamps, which I couldn't find at the previous stamp show I attended.

For me, letter writing has always been the package deal. I love everything to do with it-- stationery, stamps, pens, stickers, you name it. I'm so excited to send these little squares of paper through the mail! What's your favorite part about writing letters?

This is part of my haul. I couldn't get everything into one shot.


  1. Kimmie-- I am miserable that i missed this but this was a terrific post showing me what I missed! I really really should have flown in to NYC....
    Lots of my pals went though and I am praying the got some swag for me. I just bought those Planet stamps today here in SF so at least that's something...
    I really enjoyed your post -- thank you. Always nice to "meet" another mail art lover. My favorite part? GETTING good mail! You've got to send good mail to get good mail.

  2. I'm glad I could share my experience with you! There was so much to see. I skipped over a lot of the historical exhibits, but there were some neat things like a lithograph used to print Confederate stamps and currency. I considered going back today, but my wallet begged me to stay home!

  3. This brought back memories of my childhood! My dad was a big amateur stamp collector and he got me my own book and I would get his left overs ha ha. Are the stamps that you got for mailing or do you collect it or use them to decorate envelopes?