Fur for Thought

Just in case you haven’t had your fill of alpacas…

Here are the extra photos for my article “Touching the money fur in Prince Edward Island” that appeared in the San Diego Reader a few weeks back. All shots were taken at Green Gable Alpacas on Prince Edward Island.

Outtakes, you say? No, there are no outtakes when talking about super furry alpacas.

curious alpaca

curous alpaca

Grizwald the llama and Janet Ogilvie.
Okay, this one is a llama, not an alpaca. Grizwald is quite the foodie when it comes to apples–he turns up his snout at mealy red delicious, while he favors the well-balanced sweetness and tartness of golden delicious.

Two-week-old Izzy.

Janet Ogilvie shows us Keswick.

Meet Keswick.

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Adventures of a Lifetime: Travel Tales from Around the world - Janna Graber (ed)

This is a sweet way to start off the new year…

My story on Belize’s lionfish invasion, published in Roads & Kingdoms last July, was recently chosen by World Traveler Press to appear in their anthology of adventure travel stories! Just released today, Adventures of a Lifetime: Travel Tales from Around the World, edited by award-winning travel journalist Janna Graber, also contains great pieces by Kimberly Lovato, Bruce Northam, James Michael Dorsey and almost twenty other brilliant travel writers to satisfy your travel story fix.

The compilation is available now on Amazon (paperback and Kindle) and Barnes & Noble.

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Snout Cam at the Ready: the Alpacas of Prince Edward Island


On a recent visit to Canada’s Prince Edward Island, I expected to encounter plenty of lobsters, but did not anticipate a chance to hang out with a herd of alpacas. So, when the latter opportunity struck, I did what any sensible travel writer would do: I scrambled to engage the snout cam.

No, the folks of Prince Edward Island don’t eat alpacas, as is done in parts of the Andes, where the species originates. The alpacas of PEI are raised for their soft, luxuriously warm fleece. Note to lobsters: if you don’t want to get eaten, grow some fur. It worked for the alpacas.

In “Touching the money fur in Prince Edward Island,” just published in the San Diego Reader, I uncover the connection between camelids and 1980s rock music. And the connection between llama necks and vulnerable testicles.

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A Quiet Scene of Street Art in Astoria

Queens is kind of an unknown quantity for many people, even for those who live in other boroughs of New York City. And when visitors to Queens finally discover the charm of the borough, such as its unparalleled culinary diversity, they usually end up walking away with another unavoidable impression: its ugly buildings. A friend of mine even runs a blog devoted to Astoria’s homely architectural specimens.

Recently, something has begun to stir in this terrain of utilitarian construction. For the past year, on a block of 38th Street free of attractions or heavy foot traffic, a pocket of street art has begun dressing up those nondescript postwar walls. The efficient flatness of the buildings and the monotony of closed metal grates have become large canvases, free of Victorian turrets and detailed, molded façades that would have limited the usable space. I will share the fruits of this pocket below. But first, is ‘pocket’ the correct zoological term for a cluster of street art? Should it be a gaggle? Herd? Clash? Congregation?

I think I’ll go with scene.









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Mazurkas and Biguines: A Musical Journey through Martinique

A drummer plays a gwo-ka drum at Restaurant Barracuda. Anse Mitan, Martinique

A man began hunting for LP records in Martinique. What happened next will shock you!

Just kidding. There’s nothing shocking about it. Unless the thought of feeling the rumble of live drums up close scares you.

Following the Grooves in Martinique” is my latest piece for Perceptive Travel. Ever wonder where the biguine began? If you are thinking about the composer Cole Porter and his famous number, he didn’t get the rhythm quite right. In the story linked above, I let music be my vehicle as I explore the island of Martinique, a vibrant, far-flung piece of France in the Caribbean. I hope you enjoy it.

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