by Anna Breuer

While it isn’t always possible for travelers to become fluent in the language(s) of the country or countries they are visiting, it is essential to learn a few simple words.
We recommend travelers learn – at a minimum – how to say “please,” “thank you,” “excuse me,” as well as greetings for good morning and good day before visiting a country.
Although travelers will encounter many English-speaking people while traveling, especially at …

Lobby Bar – November 16: Leg Men, Stooges in Cabinets, and ‘I’ll Take Floor Wax and Dessert Toppings for $200, Alex!’

by Anna Breuer

Lobby Bar: So Clever You Won’t Understand a Word
Out of order. A video in China showing housekeepers at leading hotels using the same cloth to clean cups, glasses, sinks, and toilets was viewed over one million times. Several hotel general managers were quoted off the record saying, “We told them to clean the toilets first, goddamit!”
Send in the clowns. Just hours after the British cabinet approved the negotiated deal for …

Here Comes Flu Season: 4 Tips for Staying Healthy

by Anna Breuer

Flu season is making its annual return in the northern hemisphere after a particularly bad season last year. It’s always worse for frequent travelers who are exposed to germs in small aluminum tubes hurtling through space as well as in restaurants and conference halls.
More than 80,000 people in the United States died of the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season, the highest number in well over a decade, according to …

Review: ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost at Shake & Bake Theater

by Jonathan Spira

Many of Shakespeare’s works – “Julius Caesar” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” come to mind – are reinterpreted multiple times as the centuries march on. But when it comes to such reinterpretations, Shake & Bake’s new production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” takes the cake. Literally.
In the story that follows, King Ferdinand of Navarre (Darren Ritchie) and his two companions, Longaville (a mischievous Oge Agulué) and Berowne (Matthew Goodrich), attempt to …

Armistice Day After 100 Years: How a Trade War Over Pigs Led to ‘A War to End All Wars’

by Jonathan Spira

The Great War – also known as the First World War – ended at 5 a.m. on November 11, 1918 when an armistice with Germany was signed at Compiègne, a small city in northern France.
At 11 a.m. on November 11 – “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” – a ceasefire came into effect, ending “a war to end all wars.”
Prior to that, the collapse of …

Thoughts and Reflections on the Occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the Kristallnacht

by S Franklin Spira

Today is the 80th anniversary of the Novemberpogrome, or Kristallnacht. I was a 14 year-old boy then and my parents and I never thought of emigrating until the Kristallnacht, even though Jews were gradually being deprived of their rights before then. At that point, it became clear that my parents and I could no longer remain in our homeland.
March 13, 1938 was of course the Anschluß. The Austrian Chancellor, Kurt …

Sunday is Veterans Day: Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed

by Jesse Sokolow

Veterans Day in the United States, a holiday that honors military veterans, falls on Sunday this year.  The holiday coincide with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries, both marking the anniversary of the end of the First World War in 1918, as an armistice ending all hostilities went into effect at the11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.  Armistice Day was observed in …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Volkswagen Passat GT

by Paul Riegler

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Volkswagen that was first introduced in the United States as the Dasher in 1974.It was mechanically identical to the Audi 80, while the five-door Passat wagon was in America as the Audi Fox.
One of the things that attracted me to the Passat was its identity crisis. The sedan version of the second-generation Passat was sold as the Santana in Europe and as …