Sunday, June 24, 2012

New light on human-wildlife conflict

A post I wrote for TreeHugger this spring about a Kenyan boy's creative method of keeping lions away from his family's farm attracted the attention of an editor from BBC Wildlife magazine, who commissioned me to look into the topic further.

I consulted with experts on the viability of the young inventor's idea and learned many more interesting things about human-wildlife conflict in Africa than I could fit into the final piece, a short article for the "Agenda" section of the magazine's July 2012 issue.

Read my article for BBC Wildlife, "Lions in the light": jpg | pdf

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The glamorous life of the guidebook updater

"You must have the best job in the world!" the couple at the next table gushed, having just learned that I was staying at their Assos hotel while updating part of the Fodor's Turkey guidebook.

While there are certainly some jealousy-inducing perks to guidebook work -- like getting the VIP treatment at that lovely establishment (including a divine breakfast featuring fresh-baked bread, local cheeses and olives, spicy pepper dip, and homemade pistachio and chili jams) -- most of what's involved is far less glamorous than fellow travelers might think.

My days on the North Aegean (one of my favorite parts of Turkey) last summer were largely spent getting up early, guzzling copious amounts of Nescafe, and then racing from one hotel, restaurant, or historic site to the next, checking opening hours, prices, menus, room features, and other nitty-gritty details, then collapsing in a sweaty mess (it was August, after all) on a bus that would take me to the next destination, where the process would start all over again.

Nearly a year later, the fruits of these labors have made it into the 8th edition of Fodor's Turkey, with "Chapter 3: The Sea of Marmara and the North Aegean" -- much of which is also available online -- bearing my mark as updater. Friend and colleague Vanessa Larson's imprimatur is on the "Istanbul" and "Cappadocia and Central Turkey" chapters. I hope our work helps point travelers in the right direction -- and that on my next trip to the North Aegean, I'll be packing my bikini and beach towel instead of my reporter's notebook and pen!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Shopping, Istanbul style

The latest issue of SHOP Istanbul's Style Edition features two pieces I wrote, a cover story about Turkish and international brands making inroads into the city's venerable Grand Bazaar, and a news piece about Hiç Crafts, an appealingly eclectic design store in the up-and-coming Tophane neighborhood.

While the quarterly magazine, published by tourism company Global Blue, focuses on new shopping opportunities for visitors to the city, I took the chance while working on the bazaar story to poke into some of the famous covered market's hidden corners and learn how shopkeepers really feel about their new neighbors -- and about other changes in store for this historic location. That story will (inşallah!) appear in a major travel magazine this coming fall.

Read my articles for SHOP Istanbul in the digital edition of the Spring/Summer 2012 issue: "Market Leader" begins on page 42 and "Eclectic Design Oasis" appears on page 40.