Saturday, February 26, 2005

   One of the pleasures of diving in and out of blogging is revisiting old favorites and reaffirming fondness for their offerings. I am happy to see familiar treasure troves like conscientious, eeksy-peeksy, language hat, quarlo, and wood s lot still going strong.

Another perk is discovering new enticing blogs. Probably the most memorable recent find is The Glory of Carniola, a blog by an American in Slovenia, which is filled with lighthearted observations of the idiosyncrasies of Slovenian life. It’s marvelously informative and terribly entertaining, and, I'd say, very much in the spirit of the dynamite "Tito i ja", a not to be missed comedy by Goran Markovic.

In a very weird coincidental twist, Carniola’s Michael Manske bears a mysterious resemblance to someone I cannot get enough of lately – Kevin Johansen, an Alaska-born Argentine who makes quirky, infectious, trilingual and very cool music. He just released a new album, City Zen, and while I have yet to give it a listen, I can say nothing but giddy things "Sur O No Sur", his second album.

An unexpected discovery through The Glory of Carniola was a very impressive and rather charming collection of Slovenian stamps produced between 1991 and the present, housed online by Posta Slovenije. Each stamp is annotated with information on the artist and background on the image’s subject matter. I find this resource all the more remarkable in light of the fact that usps.gov besides not sporting a similar online gallery of US stamps of the past decade is inaccessible and buggy most of the time.
"The Golden Bird", Jelka Reichman. Stamp issued 24/03/2003. "Boletus", Bernarda Zajec. Stamp issued 06/06/1996.

"Pustovi", Milena Gregorcic. Stamp issued 20/01/2000. "Primula carniolica", Grega Kosak. Stamp issued 20/05/1994.

Another feature unearthed via The Glory of Carniola is a photographic collection of Balkan Portraits from 1906-1910 by Fritz Wentzel.

Other interesting recent finds include Share by Eider Suso, an illustrator and art director. Go here for visual digs and occasional commentary in English and Spanish.

Thanks to Conscientious, I have enjoyed Kiran Master’s photo paeans to green and orange, yellow and blue, as well as Gaylen Morgan’s light-filled, gauzy work. Many of Morgan’s images capture the locale of Blue Hill, Maine, which I know from first-hand experience to be lovely, lovely. Some of her landscapes are very much in the vein of the great Eliot Porter.

"August Field", Gaylen Morgan. "Blueberry Field", Gaylen Morgan.

Speaking of Maine, who would have thought that the tango scene is thriving in Blue Hill?

And, while off the beaten path in ME, check out truck 808, a strange and rather fascinating blog, which, sadly, seems to be defunct since last November.

Also out of operation since the fall is a Bostonian’s Muddy River blog. Somewhat uneven for the most part, it does contain at least three pretty exquisite images.

"Night in Ocean City", Muddy River "Fence", Muddy River

"Emptyness", Muddy River

Across the water, in France, find splendid cross-process and double-exposure shots at le camembert magique photolog.

Closer to home, take in a keen NYC subway photoblog by Travis Ruse. Some priceless catches here.

"Paths XIII (Nexus)", Marja-Leena Rathje.

Finally, I know you’ll appreciate Marja-Leena Rathje’s part-blog part-portfolio site. It’s marvelous all around.

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