In the past few days Polish Hill residents have received strange letters in the mail. Some of these letters mentioned familiar names, or upcoming visits. Many were just nonsense. The PHCA has gotten numerous calls and emails. Reaction is varied; some residents are interested and amused, but others were frightened by the letters, some of our older residents especially so.
It turns out that this is an art project, Mysterious Letters. Here is how the two artists involved explain themselves:
“We intend to write to everyone in the world..
In April 2009, we sent a personal, handwritten letter to each of the 467 households in the small Irish village of Cushendall. We hoped these unsolicited letters would prompt neighbourly discussion, spreading across the town, promoting community curiosity.
In November 2009, we sent another bundle of letters, this time 620, to each home in Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, USA.
The art work consists solely of the discussion between the recipients about what on Earth these letters are, who sent them and why, etc.
Lenka Clayton & Michael Crowe”
There is an interview with more information about the project here. This sounds like a nice idea, but unfortunately some residents felt targeted and worried enough to call the police. If you got a letter and want the police to have it, you can bring it to the PHCA office. And if you want to make a complaint about the letters, here is the post office contact to do that:
Grant Street Post Office
700 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219-9998
We will be putting up flyers to get the word out to people who don’t have computer access. If that includes any of your neighbors, please let them know that this is nothing to worry about.