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April 17, 2008



I would say three of those post cards are really boring. The Smorgasbord restaurant, the restaurant in Truth or Consequence NM, and the Chevy dealer. Maybe Bangor airport. The others elicit some non-bored response from me. Creeped out, sadness, a feeling of alienation perhaps, but not bored. I guess it is all pretty subjective.

Jonathan Steinke

I thought I knew that Del Ray Motel postcard from somewhere--Liquid TV "Dear Mum" segments!! Cool.


There is something truly amazing and "boring" photography. But then again, I do love my documentary photography.
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I believe there is a totally hidden culture in this world of people who actually occupy (and consume in) what we might call "BoringSpace" -- maybe the same people who are in Ben Katchor cartoons.

Anyway, the Del Ray photo qualifies as boring. Most of the others are kitschy but not boring. I think the Claire Danes there probably came from a wax museum, no? She's got that glazed look... But maybe she just has, well, a glazed look.

Anyway, I'm glad someone understands why these Boring Postcards books are so brilliant.

Sir Michael L. Foley

I love these sorts of things. I will have to look up those books. The only postcard that strikes me as truly boring is the donuts and coffee one. The rest are, at the very least, glimpses into a past that no longer exists.


I find the Del Ray Motel postcard far from boring. Indeed, I find it compelling. I want to know more about that motel room, and the people who might stay there, and why is the portly man in the photo? The bare checkerboard tile floor and the phone permanently attached to the cinderblock wall say this is not a place for people with many other options. Yet all is not lost...there are little luxuries, the room is small, but clean and neat....

Less Lee

That Chevrolet dealer postcard is anything but boring to me. For one, I don't ever remember seeing it in New Orleans, so it must've predated me. And secondly, that particular intersection was decimated after Katrina. It also housed Thrift City (since moved to Gretna) and Rock and Bowl (which may have reopened since). I find stuff like that fascinating. I guess I'm just fascinated by the boring!


To me the Del-Ray hotel is cool as hell and exciting!


I also like those old people in the Bourbon Street Beauty card off to the left looking at the almost naked chic. Hilarious!

Kim Scarborough

Ha, okay, if you like those, you have to check out these postcards I got at a show last year:

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Kim: The first postcard of Steak made me squeal with delight. I dunno, there's something about disturbing photos of meat that I really enjoy.


haha, the "glass house" is now a mcdonalds! the town it's in claims that it's the largest mcdonalds in the world, but its not at all lol. I've eaten there so many times.


Actually I find most of your examples interesting. For more about my ideas of boring and non-boring see and

Maybe I'm a twisted person, but I find most of these cards pretty hilarious and entertaining; more so than anything with actual artistic merit. Mostly for the fact that someone said "hey, let's put this on a post card." and thought it was a good idea.

Michael Allen

A lot of "boring postcards" like the motel ones and probably the car dealer were (still are) free at the business. They were already too boring then to actually pay for.

Of course one element of what makes them not boring to us today is the history in that one picture. The Del Ray room may look boring today, but in 1957 (just guessing) family income was lower. Probably one-income. The people renting that motel room on a road trip with their kids went through WWII and the Depression. They didn't have credit cards, so it wasn't so easy to blow a bunch of extra money on a room for the night. The Interstate highway system was new. Motels were new. TV's were relatively new. They were on a road trip vacation their parents weren't able to go on with them when they were kids. It's all in the story in the postcard.

Then of course, there's the naivete. Why didn't the fat guy, no doubt the owner, think a more attractive person might work better in a photo? He was the owner and host and proud of his business and just didn't think that way. Why didn't someone think to at least even up the bedspreads and cover up the leg and wheel on the one bed? Lack of the visual orientation everyone would have today?

Oh, by the way, a motel like that could be built with just painted concrete blocks, but those look like much more expensive glazed blocks or maybe glazed tile over whatever. Extra hygenic! Easy to clean!

Oh - the Golden Hours Motel photo is from the mid 50's, not sixties. No doubt right after the place opened. That's a 1956 Cadillac, and no car in the photo is newer.

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