by Anna Breuer

The Southwest pilot who successfully landed the crippled Boeing 737 on Tuesday after a midair engine explosion had “nerves of steel,” according to one passenger who was on the flight.
What passengers didn’t know is that their captain, Tammie Jo Shults, was one of the first women fighter pilots in the United States Navy.
Twenty minutes into the flight, a time when it’s normally tranquil, all hell broke loose. The left engine exploded, …

Despite Crash, Boeing 737 Has a Solid Safety Record

by Paul Riegler

The explosion of an engine in midair that shattered a window that then partially sucked a woman outside of a Southwest Boeing 737 aircraft on Tuesday involved an airplane with an estimable safety record.
It was the first passenger fatality resulting from an accident on a U.S. airline in nine years and the first in Southwest’s history.
Somewhat surprisingly, it happened to an aircraft that is the mainstay of short-haul flights for …

Review: ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ at Marquis Theatre Offers Lessons for Innkeepers

by Jonathan Spira

Perhaps the most important lesson one can take away from “Escape to Margaritaville” is how innkeepers at otherwise questionable establishments can offer thousand thread-count sheets.
“Margaritaville,” the Jimmy Buffet jukebox musical that opened in March in the Marquis Theatre on Broadway, has a decidedly tropical look from the ushers’ tropical shirts to the obligatory margaritas to Walt Spangler’s colorful set that belies its past as the theater where I saw revivals …

The Official Guide to Marriott’s New Combined Guest Loyalty Program

by Anna Breuer

Marriott International announced the next step in integrating its three guest loyalty programs, Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest, and Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
The world’s largest hotel company took pains to ensure that elite members in all three programs would find little taken away and discover new additional benefits.
Simply put, in the two years since Marriott acquired Starwood and its portfolio of hotel brands that includes Sheraton, W, and Westin, members of online …

Restaurant Review: Mamo Brings Cannes to New York City

by Jonathan Spira

Celebrities flock to Mamo Le Michelangelo during the Cannes Film Festival for its Provençal/Italian cuisine, but now there’s a much closer option in New York City.
Located south of Grand St. on West Broadway, a parking spot right in front of Mamo was a good omen and things only improved from there.  The original Mamo was opened by Herve “Mamo” Mammoliti in 1992 and the New York version is helmed by …

Credit Card Signatures Prepare to Face Their Maker

by Paul Riegler

For years, I’ve made what I consider to be artistic drawings when asked to sign a credit card receipt, instead of actually penning my signature. Occasionally I’ll resort to “M Mouse” or “Max und Moritz” and I gave one cashier a laugh when I digitally signed Happy Halloween on October 31 and it popped up on her screen. The same goes for checks, yet no one at …

Restaurant Review: DaDong in New York Elevates Peking Duck

by Jonathan Spira

Roast duck has been a staple in China for centuries and Peking duck, developed during the Ming Dynasty, is notable for its thin, crisp yet meaty skin, often carved tableside and served with either pancakes or steamed buns and a variety of accompaniments that might include hoisin or sweet bean sauce, spring onions, and cucumber.
DaDong is a Chinese restaurant group founded by chef Dong Zhenxiang, who is known for his Peking …

Review: ‘Frozen’ at St. James Theatre Left This Reviewer Cold

by Jonathan Spira

“Frozen” has a problem. Modeled after the 2013 blockbuster Disney movie of the same title and loosely based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” the movie has everything you’d want in a musical: great casting, an enthralling story, romance, and a princess who shows her mettle when the going gets rough.
The Broadway show that just opened at the St. James Theatre, not so much.
To review, “Frozen,” …