Posts with the category ‘Go How Know How’


Bead By Bead – Travelers Connect in Kenya

July 17, 2017

Sure, you know about the wildlife and the birds of Kenya and you know about the warriors. You’ve probably seen Out of Africa (a few times). Well, the secret, delightful discovery for first-time visitors to the Maasai-populated areas of this east African country, is that men and women, young and old, the Maasai are profligate jewelry wearers and makers. So, in addition your daily searches for the Big Five, plan to spend some time sitting in the shade with a willing Maasai teacher and learn to make something out of beads. Elephant with baby at Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai women have some magical connection with… Read More…


My Growing Affection for All That Flies

May 1, 2017

For the past two decades I’ve had a passion for things that fly and that’s as it should be considering writing about aviation is how I make my living. How birds arrived on my radar screen is not so clear, but on a trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama, I took a bike tour of Gulf State Park with Ted Floyd, the editor of the magazine of the American Birding Association. As we pedaled along I was captivated by a beautiful grey blue northern mockingbird and a loggerhead shrike that was perched at the top of a long dead tree. Shortly after that, a bald eagle flew… Read More…


Where To Stay and What To Carry: A Gift of Travel Tips for the Holidays

December 7, 2016

The holidays mean different things to different people but north or south, east or west, this is the season for gifts and travel. Below some products I sampled and tips I collected wandering the globe this year. It is my gift and my pleasure to share them with you. Where you stay When I travel, I often stay with locals by booking myself into someone’s home through Airbnb. When I learned about its Dublin-based competitor, Homestay, this summer I decided to give it a try on my Eurail trip through Eastern Europe. With both companies you are booking yourself into someone’s private home. Due to… Read More…


Time to Forgive, Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs

November 3, 2016

To understand why I’ve rooted against Chicago’s Cubs for the past three decades, you have to know that once upon a time, the Cubs had me arrested.  And not just me, but Richard Isaac (aka Ike) my dear friend and camera man at WGN-TV. I worked as a city hall reporter in Chicago from 1983 to 1988 during the wild days when Harold Washington was the city’s first black mayor. Baseball? Nope, it was the city council that played hardball back then. Anyway, one day when the Cubs were not enjoying a particularly long run of losses, my bosses at Channel 9 sent Ike and me to… Read More…


Iceland Bared, Three Ways to See What It’s Made Of

October 22, 2016

“If you get lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up,” or so the joke goes. Iceland has many natural wonders, but forests are not among them. You are much more likely to get lost among the volcanic rocks which pile atop each other over vast distances. Covered by snow in winter, lichen in fall and awash in purple Lupina in the summer, the bones of the face of Iceland have a seasonal sameness. I’ve visited Iceland five times in as many years, including a visit in July for this story for The New York Times. But after a conference here this week, I took two days and… Read More…


Prostitute and Papacy Entwined in Lake Constance History

July 6, 2016

She is thirty feet high and weighs 36 thousand pounds and every inch of her voluptuous and barely-concealed anatomy is alluring – except perhaps for the two naked and wizened old men who sit in the palms of each of her upraised hands, one a pope the other an emperor. The statute of the courtesan Imperia by German artist Peter Lenk is not just the most “photographed attraction” in the lakeside resort town of Constance (Konstanz in German) in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, it is the only public sculpture to so conspicuously memorialize a prostitute. Revolving at a rate of once every three minutes to display… Read More…


The Magical Effect of Music and Mozart in Salzburg

July 1, 2016

Tom Hook, the New Orleans jazz pianist, sitting next to me at the Mozart dinner concert my last night in Salzburg, Austria, explained his presence at the event with a smile and probably some understatement, “I am familiar with Mozart’s music.” Sure, there’s a gulf as wide as the Atlantic Ocean between American jazz and the music for which the 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is so famous, still, I have little doubt my dinner companion knew far more than I about Mozart when he arrived in Austria. In a room illuminated by candlelight, two singers, garbed in the costumes of the day sang pieces… Read More…


Nagasaki Survivor and US President On Same Page for Peace

May 30, 2016

Nagasaki survivor Takeo Aizawa, a retired school teacher now living in Tokyo, did not watch President Obama’s speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial live, as many other Japanese did. At 77, Aizawa keeps the schedule of a much younger man. He was handling other events in his life, his new grandbaby for one, and planned reunion of old classmates. But he remembers better than most, the events that brought Obama to Japan a few days ago, because Takeo Aizawa lived through them. Aizawa was a six-year-old student attending class when the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 30 kilometers from where he sat.  “I was not affected… Read More…


A Day at the Beach, a Pinch at Dinner on Hong Kong’s Lamma Island

May 29, 2016

On a steamy but sunny Sunday in Hong Kong, I packed a swimsuit, an umbrella (to ward off rain) and a hotel hand towel, in the thoughtfully-provided nylon carry bag left in my room at the East Hotel and headed for the ferry to spend a day on Lamma Island. This is not just a place to go swimming, it is a hilly walk through fecund forests where every break in the trees yields another spectacular view of small, colorful structures tumbling down the hills and flag-bearing fishing boats bobbing on the water. Just twenty minutes across the water from super-bustling Hong Kong, it is the antithesis of Asia urban, a… Read More…


Carry On Bags Good, Lenovo Laptop, Not So Much

May 25, 2016

Checked bag fees provide $25 worth of reasons to pack light. If you can carry onto the airplane all you’ll need for your next trip, you’ll not only save money, you’ll be assured the bag will arrive when you do. A new study from the aviation technology company, SITA shows that six and a half of every 1,000 checked bags fail to arrive at their proper destination so the odds are with us. Still, on my last few trips, I squandered more than an hour waiting for my stuff at the claim carousel. Either of the suitcases I carried with me, one on a trip to Italy, the other… Read More…


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