I'm kicking myself for only having now discovered Maira Kalman's enchanting and inspiring series of 'blogs' about American democracy, that are more like illustrated stories, in the New York Times. (Most of you might know Kalman for her beautifully illustrated covers for The New Yorker). Called And the Pursuit of Happiness, the 'posts' represent a delightfully-naive, obversation-rich documentation of sightseeing visits to Washington for Obama's inauguration (called The Inauguration. At Last), to Philadelphia for the Lincoln Archive (In Love with A Lincoln), to Vermont to observe a town meeting (So Moved), and to the Supreme Court (May It Please The Court). Part-travel journal, part-history lesson, and part-fashion/food/design notes, they're very much written and illustrated from the point of view of a woman traveller experiencing the (democratic) world (or, America) for the first time. I'm a huge fan of Kalman's book (un)fashion, which she produced with her husband Tibor Kalman (an influential designer himself who was creative director of Interview magazine, and editor-in-chief of Benetton's ground-breaking globally-aware Colors magazine in its early years; he died in 1999), and although this is quite a different project, you'll see a similarity between the fantastic portraits of people in both the book and the 'blogs'. Let me know what you think.