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Why Don’t You Write Me? How to Send Snail Mail to Friends At Burning Man

August 22, 2013

Why don’t you write me–at Burning Man? with apologies to Simon and Garfunkel

Why don’t you write me,
I’m out on the playaArtPredatorvan2011
I’m hungry to hear you.
Send me a card,
I am waiting so hard
To be near you.
(La, la, la)

There is something especially poignant about getting mail at this year’s Cargo Cult Burning Man. Maybe it’s the sense of being lost in space or trapped on a desert island, a stranger in a strange land, John Frum there in the Pacific far away from him (as in “I’m John from Denver or Los Angeles or…)

Besides, everyone loves getting something in the mail that’s not a bill!

If you’d like to send or receive mail at Burning Man, you’ll see it is as easy to send mail to someone in Black Rock City as it is to send mail to anyone else anywhere else in the world

as long as you have their address.

They don’t even have to have a mailbox, although many us us do–that’s our white mailbox there on the left of the van above the Kidsville sign and to the left of the tie dyed Lord Ganesh banner. We put stickers in it and we received notes, stickers and even mail!

But to send and receive mail REQUIRES an address. Or an approximation of an address. Or a Burning Man version of an address.

Which means you need to know where you are camping or close to it.

mapMaybe you want to camp near friends or a particular theme camp or village like the French Quarter or Kidsville.

I definitely recommend having an idea of where you and your camp will be so that you don’t spend your time driving around the streets of the city looking for a place to camp or for your friends. Figure it out BEFORE you get out there.

If you’re new to town, the Center of the map is where the Man will stand, to the north will be the Temple, and to the south, Center Camp and the Center Camp Cafe where you can buy coffee and other stimulants (and hear me talk on Thursday at 2:15pm!) Along Rod’s Road you’ll also find Artica where you can buy ice. Everything else on the playa is a gift (that is after you’ve bought your ticket and gotten there!)

Basically, if you want to be where the action is, head toward the Esplanade and one of the keyholes or 10 or 2pm where the big sound camps are. If you like to have more room and for it to be more on the quiet side, head to the perimeter–but no guarantees anywhere will be “quiet.’

To get more ideas about where to camp, check out this cool Burner Map and app. If you’re on facebook, you can place yourself and find out where your friends will be! There’s also a way to list tickets to sell or buy.

Here’s how to send mail to someone (like me!):

To: Art Predator (your playa name)
(aka Gwendolyn Alley) (your default name if you want)
Art Predator’s Camp (your camp name if it has one)
KIdsville (your village if you’re in or near one)
5:15 Desiderata (your address  aka time) and street name (see map)
c/o BRCPO (Black Rock City Post Office)
Burning Man
Gerlach, Nevada

If you send me mail with a SASE, I will write you back, send you goodies and magic dust from the playa, and drop it off in the Black Rock City post office to wend its way back to you!

Maybe you always wanted to be a mail carrier and wear a cute little skirt and deliver the mail and more? Get yourself, your bicycle, your motorized couch or your art car over to Center Camp where you’ll find the Black Rock City Post Office waiting for you to turn out to help out!

And yes you can certainly send mail out! You can try putting it in your mail box, but even better, run it over to the Black Rock City Post Office yourself and drop it off! Maybe volunteer and help cancel and sort mail!

Why don’t you write me,
I’m out in the playa
I’m hungry to hear you.
Send me a card,
I am waiting so hard
To be near you.
(La, la, la)

Why don’t you write?
Something is wrong
And I know I got to be there.
Maybe I’m lost,
But I can’t make the cost
Of the airfare.
Tell me why
Tell me why
Why don’t you write me,
A letter would brighten
My loneliest evening.
Mail it today
If it’s only to say
That you’re leaving me.
(La, la, la)

Monday morning, sitting in the sun
Hoping and wishing for the mail to come.
Tuesday, never got a word,
Wednesday, Thursday, ain’t no sign,
Drank a half a bottle of iodine.
Friday, woe is me
Gonna hang my body from the highest tree.
Why don’t you write me?

Burning Man 2013 Festival Sign – Cargo Cult from Mad Dog on Vimeo.

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