Loft Opera in Brooklyn

Underground Loft Opera is the new club scene in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

I wish my pictures had turned out better. The opera — The Marriage of Figaro — was amazing, thrilling, and hilarious, and the loft space in Gowanus is fantastic. Great to see the F train streaking across the night sky through the windows while the performers fill the spacious, filled-to-capacity loft with music and song.

Sign up for the Loft Opera mailing list or “Like” the “>Loft Opera Facebook page to find out about upcoming shows. The performance we saw got a well-deserved standing ovation — definitely worth checking out.

The Mark Twain Project

This is a pretty amazing online project presenting the work of Mark Twain. Not just the text of his letters, articles, and books, but scholarly annotation. It’s a work-in-progress, not just because the scholarly work continues, but because Mark Twain was extremely prolific and there is a huge amount of work to post. According to the site, in addition to the many books, pamphlets, speeches, and articles he wrote, Twain is believed to have written over 50,000 letters in his lifetime.

The goal of the site is to “produce a digital critical edition, fully annotated, of everything Mark Twain wrote.” It’s clear how much work has gone into the project, and the attention to detail is impressive.

This is a great example of using the web to document, organize and showcase a rich archive of a writer’s body of work. I think it also shows the limitation of something like Google Books — which of course has amazing potential and is certainly useful from a search perspective but currently lacks scholarly annotation or even basic descriptions and historical/literary context, not to mention its documented metadata problem.

With the Mark Twain Project, though, one huge improvement would be for the site to allow users to export the texts into formats that could easily be imported to the reader of their choice. There are other types of solutions (HTML5, “Books in Browsers“) coming which would make an option like that unnecessary, but as the site is currently built, an export function would be a nice addition to an already feature rich site.

Connect on Facebook

I’ll be posting links to creative projects on the 52 Projects Facebook page. I’ve been having fun on tumblr and twitter, why not join the Facebook party (where everyone seems to be spending their online time these days — so much so that even Google is worried.). I used to post more links here on the site, but it just makes more sense to post them into the social networks. It’s less about blogs these days, and more about wall posts and feeds. I get it.

WhipUp 2009 Calendar

Check out the WhipUp 2009 Calendar, which features artwork from 13 artists whose work has appeared on the excellent, inspiring, always crafty website. Something definitely worth adding to your holiday gift/wish list.

Here are the artists featured in the calendar:

Cover: Sandra Monat.
January: Jodie Carlton.
February: Abby Glassenberg.
March: Alice Merlino.
April: Mimi Kirchner.
May: Helle Jorgensen.
June: Neta Amir.
July: Aprill Newman.
August: Kimberly Scola.
September: Emily Moss.
October: Shula Hampson.
November: Pimp Stitch.
December: Jared Flood.