Address Your Best: Numbers Running, House Hunting, and Looking for the Right Address

hand-drawn address marker on brick wall
Have you seen the back? “Apt 2 in back”! (in the back). One of many terrific handmade or otherwise extraordinary address markers. Bloomfield

December, here we are. We can now see our breath on every pre-dawn constitutional as November’s mild, sunny weather has finally given way to real winter temperatures. Snow has been minimal, so far, but shovels and salt stand at the ready for the inevitable. Trees are fully divested of their leaves. Figs have gone to ground.

All around us The Twinkling has begun—lights in Christmas green and red, but also “electric icicle” white. Plastic figurines are set up to either celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ or make offerings to the candy cane gods—take your pick. Draped on bare trees and outlining front porches, all those tiny LED bulbs act as sentinels to the night. It’s coming, they sing in quiet unison to an audience with no option, whether you want it or not.

In short, we are officially in what retail workers, mail carriers, and delivery drivers call the most wonderful time of the year.

hand-painted sign directing to apartment access
439 Apts 1 & 2, Oakland

It’s likely The Orbit‘s convivial readership will have plenty of visitors to their homes over the next few weeks. Hopefully some of those will bring glad-tidings, along with the requisite maids a-milking and geese a-laying. If you’re lucky maybe Uncle Joe will break out the myrrh—it’s just not the holiday season without myrrh.

Others will climb your front steps on business. Envelopes stuffed with year-end brag letters and pictures of golden children will come for many. Thousands—millions!—will receive packages ordered from enormous operations full of plasticware produced far, far away. Amazon doesn’t offer real live swans a-swimming for sale—yet—but that feels like merely a matter of time. If you’re lucky, a friend will send you something truly special by U.S. Mail.

This isn’t the start of the holiday season—that kicked-off right after Valentine’s Day—so let’s call the first week of December the beginning of peak Christmas. For that, we’re sending this photo collection out to all the folks visiting all the addresses with all the things while many of us get to sit cozy, work a puzzle, and fall asleep on a couch as the television spools out one myth after another.


former barber shop with address painted on front door
4825, Garfield (since demolished)
home address marker created from stickers and stenciled spray paint
348, Lawrenceville
residential mailbox hand-painted with address
5428, Lawrenceville
House front door with address repeated in many ways
179 ½ 179 ½ 179 ½ 179 ½, Lawrenceville
hand-painted mailbox with Pittsburgh Steelers emblem
2nd flr, Sharpsburg
handmade sign on front door window directing mail delivery to mail slot
2133, Perry Hilltop
house with address markers crudely painted on basement masonry walls
469 FL 2 / 469 FL 1/Apt 1, Polish Hill
hand-painted residential mailbox
4703, Bloomfield
exterior door with handwritten address above mail slot
six twenty five, Bloomfield
three mailboxes with hand-painted sign for the addresses
215 Ella Street, Apt. 3-5, Bloomfield
hand-painted address sign outside brick house
247 Albert, Mt. Washington
hand-painted residential address painted on ceramic tiles
2828, Strip District
hand-painted address marker for rear appartment
4632 Rear, Bloomfield
hand-painted address sign next to mailbox
Apt B, Monongahela
hand-painted address marker on mailbox
316, West Homestead

Paint on Brick

hand-painted address on masonry wall
4209, Bloomfield
hand-painted home address on masonry
752, Hill District
hand-painted address marker on brick wall
701, Homewood
residential address number painted on masonry
5312, Lawrenceville
address marker with different house numbers carved into masonry and painted on
326 / 382, Lawrenceville

The Art of the Address

stylized address painted on front door of house
3210, Polish Hill
hand-painted address sign feature Polish eagle emblem
3059 Pulawski Way, Polish Hill
hand-painted address sign feature Polish eagle emblem
3060 Wiggins St., Polish Hill
Home address created with mosaic
1212, Spring Hill
home address sign in "boomerage modern" style
3432, Polish Hill
address for Italian Restaurant with image of chef carrying a large bown of pasta
424, West End

Corporate House Numbers Still Suck!

home address written on cardboard and taped to house
312 ½, Bloomfield
home address hand-written on paper, inside Ziploc bag, taped to front door
161 43rd Apt 1, Lawrenceville
home address written on cardboard, stuck inside Ziploc bag, and stuffed behind mailbox
161, Lawrenceville
address sign written on disposable plate
Apt 2, Carrick
home address written on wall shingle
3908, Lawrenceville
house number written on cardboard attached to front door of home
498 First St use back door, West Elizabeth
home address drawn on blue painter's tape attached to front door
5231, Lawrenceville
steel door with handwritten address above mail slot
4913 1/2, Lawrenceville
wooden gate with handmade address sign
5417 Rear, Lawrenceville

Old School Cool

older door with custom address marker set into window
330, Polish Hill
hand-painted address marker on brick wall
810 Concord, East Deutschtown
fading address marker painted on wood
4845, Lawrenceville
house front door window with address numbers in glass
4610, Bloomfield

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