Meet Brooklyn Heights’ Undercover Street Restorer of Public Mailboxes, Tree Guards


    For years now, an anonymous Brooklyn Heights resident has been taking his frustration with the U.S. Postal Service to the streets. Graffitied mailboxes outside his front door remained tagged, even after he submitted unfulfilled requests to the department for refurbishment.

    All of this led the sort-of street artist to take matters into his own hands and personally restore them. He estimates he’s repainted about 20 pieces of public property in recent years, including mailboxes, lampposts, call boxes, tree guards, and bike racks.

    He’s been profiled in local media and is well-known in the Heights for his efforts, which are technically illegal. Here’s a peek at some of his best work, and what some of it looked like before he “tricked out” chosen objects.


    Montague Street and Montague Terrace
    This relay box on the corner of Montague Street and Montague Terrace, above, was nondescript before its makeover. In fact, its purpose wasn’t even clear. After removing stickers and other adhesives, the artist scraped down the box, primed it, and painted it green.

    He later added the final touches: He painted the rivets white, raised letters spelling out “US MAIL” and “RELAY MAIL” in red and white, and added blue and red outlines, using a sort of paint-by-numbers technique.


    Montague Street Promenade Entrance
    Before its paint job, this raw metal bike rack, above, looked worn and unremarkable, at best.


    Remsen and Montague
    These before shots reveal how neglected this fire alarm call box, above, had been over the years. Once unattractive and peeling, it was refurbished in red, yellow, white and green paint, which calls attention to its many intricacies. Now noticeable are accents such as rivets, a flower motif, incised line details, and a flame at the top. “F.D.N.Y” is also stenciled in white.


    Top of Squibb Hill
    A standout piece in our friend’s growing body of work is this tree guard sitting at the top of Squibb Hill, pictured above. Interesting details abound on this formerly neglected tree guard. The artist repainted the Statue of Liberty, using an Internet photo of the landmark as his guide. He painted details such as drapery and her crown with a fine brush. The other sides of this tree guard feature the Twin Towers, the Department of Parks and Recreation’s logo, and the Brooklyn Bridge.


    Promenade Trash Can
    Even this filthy trash can on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade had clean-up potential. Updated in a high gloss green paint, it shines brighter than most trash receptacles.

    What do you think of the repainted property? Have you noticed any of it?

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    “Before” photos by the anonymous artist; “After” photos by Megan Cerullo

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