When going out to send your bills, postcards, thank you cards, and the like have you found your regular mailbox suddenly gone? It isn't your imagination. While the Post Office doesn't keep track of permanently removed mailboxes (uhm, why not?) they do admit that since the Republican National Convention a sizable number have been removed and taken out of service. For instance the 10003 ZIP code (which covers much of the East Village and Gramercy Park) has lost 18 of its 75 boxes between March 2002 and October 2004!

An agency spokeswoman, Patricia McGovern, told the Times that there have been “no initiative to take ‘X’ number of boxes from the street.”

Further, the boxes that have been removed are "generally only the least-used boxes." And to be fair, there has been a real decline in the past decade in first-class mail thanks to online banking and correspondence. Which isn't to say that some weren't removed for reasons of 'security.'

Have any of your mailboxes gone missing?

Detail from a photograph by ultraclay! via Contribute.