This is the first of what I hope to be a series of blog posts where I introduce some people and blogs I have been lucky to discover during my travels, meetings, conferences and the exploration online.  I hope you enjoy.

So, the first of this series focuses on the blog Stuck at the Airport by Harriet Baskas.  I’m a travel junkie and absolutely adore airports. I wasn’t lucky enough to travel through JFK and see the Eero Saarinen TWA terminal during its heyday, but I would have truly appreciated it. To provide a little background, I’ve been fortunate to travel frequently. My favorite airport is Singapore’s Changi and as an Indianapolis resident, I started the the IND Flickr group. Through my work at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I convinced Patrick Smith, author of Ask the Pilot, to write a beautiful, compelling blog post, The Jetliner as Art. I love airports, traveling and planes.

beautifully sterile

The beautiful sterile Changi

But enough about me.

I stumbled upon Harriet’s work in the first half of 2009 through some general research about airports and travel. I immediately became a fan of her blog and the many travel, airport and airline related articles she crafts. As it often happens in the online world, we exchanged e-mails, blog comments, and tweets. I remember thinking how cool it was that I could easily connect with someone that I respected. Harriet is a wonderful commentator on the state of modern travel, specifically the culture of airports, airline industry, quirky happenings and the latest in TSA occurrences. Beyond that, Harriet is a pretty big fan of museums, a talented and award winning radio producer, contributor to USA Today & MSNBC, author and much more.  It’s not often I meet someone who shares my passions – travel, airports, airlines, museums and so on. And she’s an expert!

Stuck at the Airport

Stuck at the Airport

After some communication, Harriet featured me in one her blog posts – Airport fans: yes, there are some – which made me feel pretty chuffed. Harriet and Stuck at the Airport made this series, because she’s an example of intelligent internet publishing. Harriet is not only active on her blog, online publications and other sites, but synthesizes her content through Twitter (@hbaskas) in a way that is engaging and interesting. Her multiple online methods of communication are fully integrated and connected to reveal her content, her stories. So many people fail at this.

Travel is one of the most rewarding things we can do in life. It’s inspiring, challenging, sometimes life-changing and hard work. Travel helps us understand this world and the beauty of cultural diversity. Harriet has created the perfect job.  So the next time you are planning a trip, in the midst of traveling or stuck at the airport, check out Harriet’s work. She’s totally worth it.

Stuck at the Airport

Her column on USA Today

Her column on MSNBC

And, as part of this “May I present to you…” series, I plan on always asking a series of questions. So here goes –

What drives you? Personally, generally?  General curiosity, mostly.  Oh.. and coffee. That’s what led me to traveling around to visit unusual and offbeat museums for a long running series of radio stories and for books. And that’s what got me stuck at the airport that one day when I decided there needed to be a guide to all the other things (besides waiting) to do at airports.

What determines good content? On-line and off, I’m always looking for something that’s NOT everywhere else.
What’s the meaning of life? Not sure. But have a long list of things that put meaning IN life, including: Love. Friends. Funny hats. Good bourbon. A reliable car.
What’s with this internet thing? What IS with this Internet thing?  I’m just so glad that I’m old enough to have known the world without it – and so glad that I’m young enough to have had my world and my work transformed by it. Just wish strangers would stop sending me email messages about my hair.
Aisle or Window seat? Aisle. Don’t fence me in.
Airbus or Boeing? I live in Seattle….
What next for you? In the short term: a story about the free cookies volunteers hand out to arriving passengers at the Fort Wayne Airport.  Beyond that: I have a(nother) book about museums I want to write. I have many more airports I want to visit. And I promised my husband (again) that I’d learn how to cook something besides salad.

If you could ask yourself any question, what would it be? And what’s the answer?
Question: Do you really need all those shoes?
Answer: Stop asking me that.

….Thank you to Harriet for participating in the very first, May I present to you…., series. Stay tuned for the next installment, and if you have someone you think I need to feature, please let me know.