FDR Post Office, Manhattan Review

When to Go:

The FDR Post Office at 909 Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan is usually quite busy. Sometimes the line for the main windows on the 2nd floor can stretch 2 dozen people deep. You can wait as long as 30-45 minutes on regular occasions, especially around lunchtime and around 5pm. In my experience, the best time to go to this post office is in the morning, before 9 am. The post office opens at 8 am Monday-Friday and 9:00 am on Saturday. Typically, there will only be a handful of people in line before 9 am on any given weekday. Of course, long and complicated transactions are common at this post office, including bulk and overseas mailings.

The Experience:

There are about 20 available windows. However, only about 3-8 of them are used at any given time. Also, 1 window is usually dedicated to passports only and a second window is dedicated to held mail. These windows can hold up the line a bit, especially since a passport application takes a while to process. A clerk usually patrols the line as well, asking customers what they are mailing and telling them they can use the machines. There are ample automated postal machines, including 3 on the main level and 3 in a foyer next to the entrance to the post office. A separate postal store and post office boxes are located on the ground floor. Entrance is through a revolving door. Pictures of old stamps and sculptures adorn the entrance hall, on either side of the escalator.

Access:

The post office is on Third Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan’s East Side, between 54th and 55th streets. A subway stop serving the E, M and 6 trains is a block away.

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