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Nina In New York: Tramp Stamp?

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The 'Lady Liberty' Stamp depicts the statue outside the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas. (credit: Raimund Luke/USPS.com)

The ‘Lady Liberty’ Stamp depicts the statue outside the New York-New York casino in Las Vegas. (credit: Raimund Luke/USPS.com)

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A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.
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By Nina Pajak

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

…for they’ve been playing craps for ten hours straight, and more than anything they need to close their wallets, take a snooze, and get some fresh air.

The inscription applies equally to the generations of immigrants who have come to this country in hopes of a brighter future as it does to the scores of vacationers who stay at the New York-New York Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Because really, what’s the big diff?

According to the U.S. Postal Service, the answer is, evidently, “meh, not much.”

In case you didn’t read about it already, a stamp was released last fall featuring the Statue of Liberty. It was a tribute to our fair city and the hope, acceptance and freedom it represents to the rest of the country and the world. Oh wait, no. It turns out the stamp actually features a 14-year-old replica of the Statue of Liberty which is located on the Vegas strip in front of the casino named for our fair city. Where our statue’s face is solemn, architectural and a bit severe, the imitation has a pert little nose, a pouty mouth and bedroom eyes. Perfect for welcoming people to Sin City. Slightly less inspirational as an icon.

I feel for the United States Postal Service. I really do. The Internet age has done a number on them, with all the paperless billing, online transactions, email correspondence, and the death of the strongly worded letter in favor of the strongly worded “contact us” form. To be honest, based on the incredible number of catalogs we find crammed into our mailbox each week, I’m a little surprised to hear that the USPS has fallen on such hard times. But they have, and there is something very sad about the idea that the mail is anything but an inexorable fact of life.

Which is why when I read this story, my head went directly into my hands. Especially when I saw the USPS response in the New York Times report:

“We still love the stamp design and would have selected this photograph anyway,” said Roy Betts, a spokesman. Mr. Betts did say, however, that the post office regrets the error and is “re-examining our processes to prevent this situation from happening in the future.”

Terrific. I guess if you’re going to accidentally use some sultry, sexed-up Lady Liberty on a stamp, you may as well stand behind the “choice.” I’d like to see how they re-examine their processes. I recommend typing “REAL + Statue of Liberty” into Google Image Search next time.

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