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Mileage varies: C’Hill, B’Hill post-office moves official

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The Boerum Hill and Clinton Hill post offices are packing up and shipping out.

Neighbors used to patronizing the Atlantic Avenue post office in Boerum Hill will have to endure a longer hike to a formerly industrial building at 594 Dean St., between Sixth and Carlton avenues, which is about a 10-minute walk away in Prospect Heights, according to the Postal Service.

The post office near the Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill is moving just three blocks to the ground floor of a condo building at 609 Myrtle Ave., between Classon Avenue and Emerson Place, a mail rep said. But neighboring seniors say that is plenty to make life difficult for the most elderly among them.

“It could be a lot of work for someone who is 90 years old,” said Shama Duncan, a manager at Willoughby Walk, a co-op complex around the corner from the current Myrtle Avenue location.

More than half the residents there are older than 60, according to Duncan. Unplugged oldsters are more likely to use the post office than their younger, spryer neighbors for whom an extra three blocks is a breeze but snail mail is less of a necessity, said Duncan and the administrator for a local panel.

“Most Saturday mornings, my mom leaves the house and pops a couple letters or postcards in the mail,” said Community Board 2 district manager Robert Perris. “If I buy a book of stamps, it’s going to last three years.”

Perris down-played the potential for outcry over the relocation of the Clinton Hill depot.

“It’s hard to fault this location,” said Community Board 2 district manager Robert Perris. “It’s not that much farther away for most people. Some will benefit. Some will be mildly disadvanta­ged.”

Regulars at the Boerum Hill postal outlet have long complained that it is dirty and disorganized. Perris said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility that the move would solve the problems.

“Perhaps the new location will have a positive impact on employee morale,” Perris said.

One patron, having just survived the line at the Atlantic Avenue post office, said the location is a hassle but not unique.

“It’s like this at every post office,” said Fatima Pate. “This is New York.”

Pate, who lives with her parents in Crown Heights, said she and her folks usually travel to Boerum Hill for their mail needs because their local post office is even worse.

The Clinton Hill post office is being forced out by its landlord, who wants to redevelop the property, Perris said.

A spokeswoman for the Postal Service did not know how long the transition will take, but said that renovations have to happen before the mailmen and women can make the move.

Updated 4:37 pm, August 6, 2014: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that Robert Perris did not think there would be outcry over the relocation of the Boerum Hill post office. He was referring to the relocation of the Clinton Hill post office. Quote added from Fatima Pate.
Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
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Reasonable discourse

Robert Perris from Community District 2 says:
"Perris down-played the potential for outcry over the relocation of the Boerum Hill depot."

No, I down-played the potential for outcry over the relocation of the Clinton Hill station, which is only moving three blocks.
Aug. 4, 2014, 7:41 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Hi Robert.
John Wasserman. If you'll pardon my saying so, I don't think, as a district manager, you are qualified to make such a statement. You see, there are many others out here in the streets, fields, and the solar planes that would find your words and downplays quite snarky.
I hate to be the one to say it, but a new location might do a lot for your so-called "moral", but what about the movers? You know, the people who actually have to physically move the items to the new location? Have you heard of this?
Can I ask you to please just give it a little bit of thought, if you don't mind?
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
John Wasserman/Patriot/J-Wass Storm Door and Roofing
Aug. 4, 2014, 9:43 am
JAY from nyc says:
if they keep the same lousy employees at the new location it will just be a new lousy location. The old location was not the problem, its the people who worked there who are the problem.
Aug. 4, 2014, 6:34 pm
ty from pps says:
The postal employees in Brooklyn may be the worst is the country... disgruntled, combative, and mysteriously and painfully slooooooow. Should it really take 50 mins to pick up a package when you're 3rd in line? Hmmm, Kensington Station?

I'm pretty sure the glass is there to protect the customers from the employees, no the other way around.
Aug. 5, 2014, 7:45 am
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Dear Sir or Madame,

Today I went to mail a package to my grandmother in Los Angeles, CA - a task which required my making use of your facilities here in Brooklyn; a task which also seemed, at the outset, like it shouldn't be too difficult to execute. Mailing a package. How could I fail?

While it was not the most difficult thing I've ever gone through in my life, it ranks surprisingly high on the list: I would put it somewhere between my Mother's bout with breast cancer and the time I was hit by a car while on my bicycle and hospitalized.

I understand that our elected officials here in New York City, and really at all levels of government seem hellbent on creating some kind of nightmarish Orwellian totalitarianism where forms need to be filled out in order to fill out another form and so on. So I sympathize with you because I'm sure this kind of atmosphere is created at the top and you're doing the best you can within the parameters in which you're forced to operate.

So here's a couple of things that seem obvious to me and, I imagine, anyone who has visited this particular branch; just a couple of ideas that seem to have eluded the powers that be at the New York City Post Office.

First of all, when the post office was set up initially, it's creators probably asked the question "will people need pens at the post office?". Somehow they arrived at the conclusion that no, they wouldn't - but the answer is actually yes! People do need pens at the post office! Let me just take a pause here to let this point sink in........ I was today able to succeed where the Post Office has failed and observe that the lack of pens is problematic. The reason for this? Almost everyone who enters the Post Office will need a pen (for writing). (on letters and packages). The reason that people need to write on packages is because they need to "mail" them to "destinations", destinations which are denoted by addresses on the packages which need to be written (by pens), so it might make sense to have some, because mailing packages is kind of "your thing". I know what you're thinking - "but people will just steal our pens! What a waste of time and money!". I had the same thought myself. Then I remembered about the several thousand times I have visited a bank in my life; there was something about those visits; I was able to write things even though I myself was not in possession of a pen. The banks had their own pens, and they were made difficult to steal because they were attached by a beaded chain to the counter! This is just the kind of cutting edge technology that the Post Office of New York City should employ.

Luckily I did manage to find, deep in the recesses of my bag, my own pen. As I wrote out my grandmother's address I realized I didn't know her zip code. No problem I thought, I'll just look it up in the zip code finder. But there was no zip code finder to be found. (You should probably have one of those too but we'll avoid that point for now) No problem, I thought again, they'll just look it up for me when I get up to the window. They are the post office after all. This sort of thing is their bag. This sort of thing must happen often, if not all the time.

Imagine my surprise when I finally got to the window after having waited 45 minutes in line (a wait which was certainly exacerbated by the people who had already waited in line going back to the front of the line because something about their packages had not met the rigorous standards of the New York City Post Office the first time around) - I was told that looking up the zip code would be impossible. "You don't know the zip code?" the woman behind the glass said to me. "I don't have that, no, sorry" I said. "Well you need to look it up over there" she said to me, awesomely. "You mean you can't look it up for me?" I said. The woman behind the glass told me that, well, she could but next time I had better look it up myself, or something like that. Relieved, I said thank you.

Then she turned to talk to the woman next to her, who informed her that I would have to look it up myself at what she called "the machine". My woman related this to me and I said, incredulously, "You mean you can't look up a zip code? But you're the Post Office... Isn't this kind of thing your deal?" I was told that her "machine" is "really slow".

What kind of machine could she be talking about? Does the machine that the Post Office uses to look up zip codes not use the recent technology called "the internet" which actually operates at the speed of light? What sort of device did they have back there? Could it really be as hard as this woman was making it sound? I was to go look up the zip code myself on "the machine over there" and then come back up to front of the line just like the other people that had caused the bottleneck I previously described in paragraph 6.

I found another long line at "the machine" which looks up zip codes. But by then it was too late. I had run out of time and I had to go. So another thing I think the Post Office might want to think about incorporating is the internet. It's great! It's so fast, really. I imagine it's much faster than whatever you guys are using and it would enable your employees to do things the rest of us can do in 5 seconds!

Thank you for your time.

John Wasserman
Aug. 5, 2014, 10:52 am
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
John Wasserman. Welcome to the Times Plaza station Kafka would have been proud and Dante I am sure(not the Mayor's son) would have made it a stop on the way to hell. I have complained all the way to the Post Master General about it. You need to use the post office's website-which actually is not that bad. You can get labels pay postage and look up zip codes all without seeing a postal clerk. A pen? maybe a quill one when it opened. the website is www.usps.gov or com(both work).... I use UPS when ever I can although FEDEX ground is somewhat less expensive...
Aug. 6, 2014, 4:48 pm
John Wasserman from Prospect Heights says:
Hi Sid. John Wasserman. Thank you for the advice but I currently don't have access to a computer or internet.
Have a nice day.
Aug. 7, 2014, 10:51 am

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