At Home with the Dogs: Bringing Nutmeg Home
Thursday, May 21, 2015
At Home with the Dogs: Bringing Nutmeg Home

I grew up in an apartment in Flushing, a part of New York City.  We were not allowed to have a dog or cat.  So my first pet was a turtle named Chopper because he ate chopped hamburger meat.  When he died, the funeral consisted of being placed in my father’s Parliament cigarette box and being unceremoniously thrown down the incinerator chute.  I screamed, so my father lit another cigarette. Aside from my first dog, Winston, my dogs have all been from Humane Societies and rescue groups.  Molly, my ten-year old Newfoundland was given away in the wake of the Gulf Coast Hurricanes.  Dog evacuees faced bureaucratic hoops, too. Continental Airlines would give ...

Singapore: Tradition in the Modern City
Thursday, April 30, 2015
At Home with the Dogs: Bringing Nutmeg Home

Think of Singapore and the image that comes to mind is a modern city-state with tall buildings and a vibrant economy.  That image would not be wrong.  It is the world’s fourth largest financial center and the only Asian country with a AAA credit rating.   It is also a place where 80 percent of the population lives in publicly built housing.That would only paint part of the picture.   There is also a history of deep cultural traditions, some of which are in danger of being eradicated as Singapore continues to build new housing and wide roads in its onward march to modernity.  Claire Leow, corporate executive, educator, former journalist and good ...

A Walk Through Paris
Thursday, March 26, 2015
At Home with the Dogs: Bringing Nutmeg Home

Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting cities.  In recent weeks, France has has experienced several tragedies, in Paris and elsewhere.  A walk through Paris is a walk through history, food and art.  This post is a tribute to Paris and to the joy it has brought to people who live there and those who visit.  It is one of the places that I can walk around for hours with my camera, not worrying about where I am or where I am going.  Discovering fresh bread and ice cream, looking at century old churches, watching people paint and listening to street music. And of course, the beautiful, golden light, especially at the end of the afternoon. And ...

Nairobi Neighborhoods
Thursday, March 19, 2015
At Home with the Dogs: Bringing Nutmeg Home

I just returned from Nairobi. Nearly ten years ago, it was there that I visited my first African slum.  Actually, the first time I tried the people I was with would not even let me enter Kibera in Nairobi; merely stand on the outside looking in.  Too dangerous, they said.  I felt embarrassed, like the archetypical gawking Western tourist.Since then, I’ve been back to Kenya many times and have visited many neighborhoods in its cities.  Originally, I had not known what to expect.  My image of slums came from my American background and my work in housing.  Tall buildings in disrepair, often owned by the Government.  Some so bad that they ultimately had ...

New York City: A Tribute to my Father
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
At Home with the Dogs: Bringing Nutmeg Home

I grew up in New York City.  No matter where I've lived since then, I will always consider myself a New Yorker. My father taught English as a Second Language at night and introduced me to his students, people from every part of the world.  It is probably what started my travel dreams. I did not grow up in Manhattan, but in the more affordable borough of Queens, part of the "bridge and tunnel crowd."  Going to Manhattan as a child meant an exciting ride on the subway to "The City."  Turning around and putting my knees on the plastic seat, I gazed out the window as the neighborhoods flew by.Rockefeller Center, in the heart of midtown Manhattan, was always a place of ...