1. gwrolls
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    gwrolls Member

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    US postal addresses?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by gwrolls, Nov 23, 2014.

    Hi all,

    I am currently writing something from the perspective of an American, where I have pretty limited knowledge of how life is there. Could someone help me with postal addresses? Mainly how they are laid out and in what order I put things. I want to write down an address that is in Queens County in New York City
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    We would not put the county unless it were maybe a rural address and Queens NY is definitely not rural, though I have actually seen people from Queens break it down into the different neighborhoods. But just so you know, that's an idiosyncrasy of that area and not considered standard. It would go like this:

    This is standard:

    4321 Sparkington Street, Apt 7, New York, NY 12345

    But this might also be seen:

    4321 Sparkington Street, Apt 7, Jamaica Queens, NY 12345

    Also, Queens is not a county, it's a borough.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Just to elaborate: Jamaica is a neighborhood, not a city and Queens is the borough, (county), not normally used in a postal address but might be used in other addresses like your voter registration.

    I trust @Wreybies knows something about the unique situation in NY. Here in Seattle if you listed the neighborhood instead of the city, the post office might return the mail to the sender.

    I had a batch of mail to one fire department returned despite having the correct zip code because the area had been incorporated and needed a new city name. It was annoying because the post office knew full well where to deliver the mail.
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know in Boston, some parts of Boston are used instead of "Boston" itself. For example, my husband used to live in a section of Boston called Allston, and mail could come to Allston, MA or Boston, MA. The most important thing was the zip code.

    I would guess that it would be the same in NYC, but there could be idiosyncrasies of individual post offices.

    So, I'm surprised to hear that the post office refused to deliver that one piece of mail, because I've generally had pretty good luck with them, as they have genuinely wanted to deliver the mail to the proper place and get it out of their hands.
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    You people are all weird. When I send a package to my grandmother all I do is put
    Diane [REDACTED]
    Red Feather Lakes, CO
    on the package. She's had the same mailman for the last 18 years. Even if she got a new guy, all he would have to do is ask anyone working in the mail room where she lived.
     
  6. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hope that's all cleared up for you now, @gwrolis ;)
     
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  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Also to the Original Poster, the format looks something like:

    Name of the recipiant
    Street address
    Apartment number or similar
    City, State* Zip code**

    *The postal system uses a two letter abreviation system for all state names. Both letters are always capitalized. For New York it would be NY.

    **This is a five digit number and can be extended an extra five four numbers. Most post offices are fine with just the first five, and most computers will fill in the next five four going by the street address
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
  8. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Technically, the ZIP code is supposed to be on the same line as the city and state.
    And it's an extra 4 numbers, not an extra 5.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    If you deliver the mail everyday in a town of 500-600 people, you probably do get to know where they all live. :p
     
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well I'm glad somebody knew, I just took a stab.
    And I was taught in grade school that the zip is on a separate line.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :confused:
    9-8-0-0-5
    I count five.
    Oh, wait a minute, you are talking about the extra 4 numbers. Never mind.
     
  12. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Doesn't happen around here. We've had a new mailperson about every year. Lots of turnover at our local post office, I guess.
     
  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    No, no. The extra numbers that no one ever remembers and only get put on by computers and weirdos. They rolled them out sometime in the 1980s, we all had to learn ours in school, no one cared.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    See my edit. :)
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Also, none of this applies if you live in the bigger cities in Utah where they have this grid/quadrant system that actually makes a lot of sense if it weren't also tied to their religion because their main temple at the X-Y intersection (exact middle of town) is 0, 0 in their system.
     
  16. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I find that really funny because most of us put the ZIP on that last line, separate, but our grade school teachers were ADAMANT that no no no, the zip went on that same line, after the state, and that putting it on the next line was only for situations where there wasn't enough room, but it was IMPROPER!!!!! They got really bent out of shape about it.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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  18. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    My wife also agrees that the zip should be on the same line as the state, which is why I also agree that this is the case.
     
  19. gwrolls
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    Thank you all for your help; it would be so much nicer if it was the same worldwide!
     
  20. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I always enjoy seeing addresses in the UK that often look something like:

    John Bull
    Radcliffe Estate
    Wheezle
    Stumps
     
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  21. Karwedsky
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    Just wanted to add that sometimes in the US there is an extra line above the recipients name that refers to the organization or company that the person is a part of.

    For example you could have:

    Company Name
    Recipient Name
    Street Address
    Apartment # (doesn't necessarily exist, if not then exclude)
    City, State Zip code

    There is just a space between the two letter state designation and the zip code number, not another comma.
     
  22. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I was little, we lived at:

    5, Bowling Green Lane,
    Albrighton
    Near Wolverhampton
    Shropshire.

    Now, Wolverhampton is in Staffordshire, not Shropshire...
    and the reason why we had to put "Near Wolverhampton" was that there are 2 villages called Albrighton in Shropshire...I suppose the other one would have used "Near Shrewsbury".

    I suppose that, now that we have postcodes, this distinction is no longer necessary.
     
  23. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually Queens is both a county and a borough. New York is weird in that the city limits actually take in five boroughs which are treated as county level governments by New York State. So there is a borough of Queens but it's also call Queens County (it's even weirder in that the borough of Brooklyn is also a county but for those purposes it's called "Kings County").

    It's worth noting that the address is almost always going to be laid out in three lines, and since you're in New York City I would assume it includes an apartment number. This is pretty universal globally but just in case, here is how it would look on a US envelope assuming he lives at apartment number 405:

    John Doe
    4230 Hampton Street, #405
    New York, NY 11373

    Here's a list of Queens postal codes http://queens.about.com/od/neighborhoods/a/zip-codes-queens-ny.htm

    If you're writing in Queens specifically I would also note that Queens is one of the most ridiculously ethnically diverse localities in the country if not the world. It's not entirely the NYC stereotype from the movies. There are huge immigrant communities - including the biggest Asian community outside the West Coast. In fact, a Queens-based district recently elected the first-ever Chinese-American member of Congress from the East Coast.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Queens

    Anthony Bourdain did a really good episode of his show "No Reservations" on the Outer Boroughs of New York and put in a really interesting look at Queens specifically. So that's something to look at.
     
  24. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have two residences here in PR and two VERY different address layouts.

    The house out "in the country" has a rural address that goes like this:

    Sector Name, Ward Name
    Route #, Kilometer marker #
    City, State, Zip


    Needless to say, it is impossible to get mail at that address because Americans have no idea what to do with it, so I also have a PO Box at the local USPS post office in town.

    My other address is a condominium in the city of Caguas, and my mailing address there goes like:

    Name of Condominium Complex
    Box #
    City, State, Zip


    No street number. No street name. The name of my condo complex is the actual address.
     

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