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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Trump International Hotel Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii – Review

Visiting, Honolulu in Hawaii sometimes gets short shrift. Honolulu isn’t as exotic or quiet as Maui or Kona and it is a big city. But Waikiki is a vibrant beach resort and the area has some of the best restaurants in the Pacific and the feeling of aloha, a Hawaiian word that means love, affection, and peace, is contagious.
Located adjacent to the city’s best stores and one block from the …

Editorial: Gold-Plated Travel Should Not Be Standard Government Issue

One government official’s penchant for flying first-class has caught the attention of the media, government watchdogs, and other politicians. Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, along with his aides have put forth the dubious argument that he must fly up front because he is not safe in economy. Apparently, people haven’t been very nice to him in the rear of the plane.
“Unfortunately, we’ve had some incidents” he said in …

Briefly Noted: ‘The Outsider’ at Paper Mill Playhouse – Theater Review

Ponder the question, “what is the role of government?” In brief, a political scientist might explain that it exists to accomplish, as a group, that which individuals alone cannot. This would include building infrastructure, such as roads that connect people and cities, maintaining that infrastructure such as maintaining and keeping the roads clear, providing schools, and establishing a safety net for the less fortunate. Do the people want someone who …

Peacocks on a Plane

It took a peacock to bring everyone to his senses.
Oddly enough, it wasn’t the pig, the duck, the snake, the spider, the chicken, the rooster, or the turkey that brought the pot to a boil.
It was the peacock.
As most people know by now, an over-entitled woman tried – albeit without success – to bring a peacock onto a United Airlines flight out of Newark in January, claiming that the peafowl …

The Westbury, Mayfair-London, England – Hotel Review

My first stay at the Westbury was when I was 17. It was a memorable one but, for no particular reason, I hadn’t had the opportunity to return to the Westbury until recently.
Back then, my parents, brother, and I had been walked from a heavily overbooked Churchill, and a London taxi brought us to the serene and supremely elegant Westbury, where the first suite we were shown was so nice …

A Conversation with Frequent Traveler Laurie Haspel, CEO of Haspel Clothing

The seersucker suit has been considered the mainstay of a gentleman’s summer wardrobe, tracing its origins back to its introduction by Joseph Haspel Sr. in 1909. Today, Laurie Haspel Aronson, Joseph Haspel’s great-granddaughter, is CEO of Haspel Clothing, which is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
As a long-time aficionado of seersucker – the thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric is the perfect way to dress well in warmer climes – I was pleased …

Review: Is the Mobile Passport App Better than Global Entry?

Mobile Passport, available on both Apple iOS and Android platforms, is a relatively new app, introduced just a little over a year ago.
The app works by supplying arriving international travelers with a QR code after having them fill out an app-based copy of an electronic customs declaration form.
In some respects, it sounds strikingly similar to Global Entry, but it may be faster to clear passport control than Global Entry given …