Stories, Music and Film

Maria Georgieva Tracheva, an Art Friend in Bulgaria

…could use your business.

I’ve known her as Mimi since I first visited the Sofia Flea Market in the center of the city in 1994. I last visited her in 2008, and in those years, at least once annually since 1998, I watched her family grow.

Mimi was a central figure in the flea market, just between the old Royal Palace (now a museum) and the old Russian Orthodox Church at one end,

and the famous St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral and plaza at the other.

Mimi had the concession for much of the icon art there, as well famous Russian lacquer boxes Kholui, Fedoskino and Palekh, and for some years I procured several pieces through Mimi for several of our regulars at and

My last visit to Sofia was in 2008 to attend the funeral of by business colleague, and I have done other pieces from my “Famous Common People I have Known” series, about people like Kuko, who could play Chopin on a squeeze box, and Zlatko and Slavka, the goat herders. In 2020 Mimi sent a Covid-19 report about Bulgaria, and later lost her husband Pavel, possibly to Covid.

The government closed the flea market, then moved it once it reopened. and Mimi had to take the business, or what was left to it, indoors.

I invite you to visit her at pifa_blue at, as she still has an extraordinary collection of small religious art and collectibles. I checked and shipping to the US is still FREE.

And Christmas is still a month away.



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