Huntington Station named busiest ZIP code
On the busiest mail delivery day of the season, the most bustling ZIP code in the country was 11746 - Huntington Station.
According to the U.S. Postal Service, Wednesday was the culmination of a season in which letter carriers delivered more than 4.3 million pieces of mail to residents in 11746 between Nov. 1 and Dec. 10, topping New York City's highest-volume ZIP codes.
The difference, officials say: the amount of advertising mail received by Long Islanders.
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Joe Colasanti, 58, of Yaphank, had to load his mail truck twice during Wednesday's rush; he normally loads the vehicle once.
"You have to hustle a little more," he said, breaking for an interview near the end of his route. "I don't have help. It's all me."
Colasanti, who said he will retire at year's end, was one of 62 letter carriers working to meet Wednesday's demand.
He and his fellow drivers made some 20,000 stops, stuffing area mailboxes with stacks of Christmas cards, catalogs, letters, bills and last-minute gifts.
And while Colasanti and his colleagues were working hard to complete their deliveries, residents were scrambling to make eleventh-hour drop-offs, hoping their gifts would make it under the tree on time.
Maggie Rodriguez, 34, of Huntington, stopped in to mail an Andrea Bocelli CD to her best friend in Philadelphia. Rodriguez said she was sorry she didn't get to the chore earlier, but she had a good excuse.
"I have a sick baby at home," she said. "I've been trying to get here all weekend."
Lydia Mediavilla, 42, of Huntington, tried to mail her relatives' presents a week ago, but couldn't because the post office parking lot was full. She said she hopes her niece and nephew will forgive her lateness.
"Now I'm back and I can actually get inside," she said, searching for the perfect box in which to mail a puzzle and a craft kit.
Tracey Prezeau, 30, of Miramar, Fla., in town to visit her parents, wrestled with some 25 calendars - each bearing family photos - to be sent to more than two dozen relatives nationwide. The calendars aren't gifts; the recipients will pay $14 each, including shipping.
"Our goal is to get them there before the new year," Prezeau said. "I think that will happen."
One Huntington Station woman stopped in to mail a series of James Patterson books to a family friend in an upstate prison, while another from Dix Hills was embarrassed to admit her husband forgot to mail the family Christmas cards in time for the holiday.
"I'm late for everything," she said, sheepishly. "If my family sees my name in the paper, they'll say, 'Aha! I knew it!' "
Robert Ferrar, 25, of Dix Hills, said his cards don't have a deadline, so the 30 college professors, fraternity brothers, family and friends on his mailing list can't complain.
"In my defense, they are not Christmas cards, but season's greetings cards," he said, using an argument that hasn't yet swayed his fiancee. "It's a loophole in terms of the delivery date."