Week 34: My First Visit to…Kuala Lumpur

I admit it. When I learned our cruise was making a day stop in Kuala Lumpur, I had to look it up to see where it was and what it was. Turns out it is a beautiful, thriving, on-the-move city and the capital of Malaysia with nearly 2 million inhabitants. It is one of the fastest-growing metro regions in Southeast Asia.

But it was its early years that fascinated me. The lyrical name, Kuala Lumpur, actually means Muddy River. Kuala meaning confluence and lumpur meaning mud. The city began as a mosquito-infested shack town at the confluence of two rivers at the mouth of the sea around 1857 when Chinese miners opened a tin mining camp. Eventually rubber took over with the advent of car tires. Today it is one of the leading cities in the world for tourism and shopping. It is the seventh most visited city in the world. The city is also home to three of the world’s 10 largest malls. What?

So my photo of Kuala Lumpur is in the heart of the city at the actual confluence where it all started 161 years ago.

1 River Confluence KL


Week 33: Bench

Loved finding this crocodile bench at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay complex. Of course, it begged the question, “do crocodiles live in Singapore?” And the answer is Yes! The type is the Estuarine Crocodile, a saltwater croc found in coastal areas, rivers, and occasionally parks in Singapore. Adult males can reach 20 feet. They are the largest of all living reptiles, as well as the largest riparian predator in the world. They are listed as “Critically Endangered in the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. Development is ripping out mangroves and other natural places the crocs live, so they show up in unexpected places where humans are as they find new territory. Someday these carved wooden bench may be all they have to show for a huge reptile that roamed Singapore’s waters.

Croc Bench

Week 32: Starts with ‘O’

The National Orchid Garden within the main Singapore Botanic Garden houses the largest orchid collection of 1,200 species and 2,000 hybrids. Having begun its breeding program in 1928, the orchid garden is a leader in orchid studies and a pioneer in the cultivation of hybrids, complementing the nation’s status as a major exporter of cut orchids. The equatorial climate ensures the high humidity these beautiful orchids need to flourish. The Botanic Garden itself was begun in 1859 and has been ranked Asia’s top park attraction since 2013, by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards. It was declared the inaugural Garden of the Year, International Garden Tourism Awards in 2012, and received Michelin’s three-star rating in 2008. We were delighted last month to be among its 4.5 million annual visitors.


Week 31: Triangles

The new Westin Hotel in Sarasota is quite modern in design. These lightboxes, sconces, really, cast interesting shadows in triangular shapes on the walls of one of the upper floors by the elevator. Boxed Lights camel dynamic peaceful as a few potential passengers passed him by.



Week 28: An Action Shot

We were strolling the streets in Old Havana and came across a very tiny park tucked into the corner of a city block. I was attracted to it because of its intimacy in the middle of the city. I noticed a couple of guys in the park but didn’t want to be obtrusive so I grabbed one shot as a I walked past. It was later, at home as I downloaded all my photos, that I saw the one man was gracefully dancing while the other fellow relaxed on the bench and watched him. Perhaps a fellow dancer or a coach. At any rate, it is an action shot, but one I didn’t expect to get there and then.



Week 26: Senior Hands

These hands belong to a local musician who has spent a lifetime making music. I imagine today he is better than ever, having decades of experience as a guitarist and perhaps other instruments as well. Here he strays from his familiar blues genre to venture a special rendition of Ave Maria at his friend’s late mother’s memorial service this Sunday afternoon.

Guitarist 2

Week 25: My Favorite Holiday

Christmas is my favorite holiday, although after 20 Christmases in Florida it is still a little weird not having snow and cold to carry me though the festive season. But you don’t need snow and cold to embellish, and that’s what Christmas decorating is all about. I like to embellish my table when guest are coming. Last month we entertained our fellow 2017 Sicilian travelers at a potluck dinner for 10. In addition to using Christmas china and “crackers,” the centerpiece consisted of objects from Italy, such as a Murano glass sculpture of birds, a ceramic statue of a judge, a marble statue of Paulina (Napoleon’s sister) and Italian flags, as well as silver bells, candles, a crystal cat, glass trees and deer,  and holiday sparkly fruit and berries. Of course, there was no room on the table for food, so we did a buffet!

Sicilian Dinner Table

Week 24: Reflections

“Complexus,” a 70-foot-tall red Corten steel sculpture by John Henry, is a piece of public art installed at the corner of Tamiami Trail and Gulf Stream Boulevard in Sarasota. Dubbed “Pick Up Sticks” by locals, it was reflected in the glass building, One Sarasota, when I was shooting scenics from the top of the new Westin Hotel across the street. There are other reflections to identify in this photo—how about the car, the street sign and the traffic light? More?

Red Sculpture Reflected