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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Theater Review: ‘The True’ at Pershing Square Signature Center

Dorothea “Polly” Noonan died on November 14, 2003. She had retired in 1973 after nearly four decades of service to the New York State Senate and had also been a major force in the Democratic Party, having served on the National Democratic Committee and as vice-chair of the N.Y.S. Democratic Committee.
In “The True,” Edie Falco, star of “The Sopranos” and “Nurse Jackie,” is galvanizing as Polly, in a story loosely …

Volkswagen Rabbit GTI to Return for 2019

The first generation Volkswagen Golf was marketed as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States when it was introduced in 1974 to replace the Beetle. Wolfsburg introduced a second generation Golf in 1983 along with a sportier model called the GTI.
The GTI is turning 35 next year and Volkswagen is bringing back the Rabbit nameplate with a limited production run of the 2019 Volkswagen GTI Rabbit Edition.
{Editor’s note: GTI, incidentally, …

Review: Apple Watch Series 4 with Infograph Watch Face

After three iterations of essentially the same watch, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 4, which features a completely new design with a slimmer body, a significantly larger display, a thinner case, sensors that can take ECG readings, and Fall Detection.
The Series 4 watch went on sale on September 21 and this review comes later than usual because Apple first provided it on that date. Since its arrival, however, I’ve …

Theater Review: ‘Kink Haüs’ at La MaMa E.T.C.

Growing up in the 90s in Austria, Germany, and the United States, I went to my share of clubs ranging from Area and The Tunnel in New York and KitKatClub Ostgut, and, later on, Berghain in Berlin.
Apparently, so did performance artist Gunnar Montana.
“Kink Haüs,” an experimental work created by and starring Montana, is an unapologetically risqué look at queer nightlife, inspired by Montana’s time in Berlin, starting with an unnamed …

Review and Test Drive: 2018 Lexus LS 500h

When Lexus’ flagship sedan, the LS, made its debut in 1989, it marked the first successful volley of a Japanese automaker into the luxury space. Its very existence was headline worthy and it overtook BMW and Mercedes-Benz in overall U.S. sales within two years, although it took a little over a decade to beat Cadillac at its own game. Lexus’ success also reshaped the image auto buyers had of Toyota, …

Restaurant Review: La Pulperia, New York City

Yorkville, a neighborhood in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is something I associated largely with German and Austrian restaurants and shops and, to a lesser extent, Hungarian ones. Austrian and German cafes and establishments shut their doors as the neighborhood changed, replaced by high-rise residential complexes.
I was therefore not surprised to find a wonderful South American restaurant, La Pulperia, on Second Avenue there.
You won’t find something called Pulperia on the menu, …

Editorial: Invoking John McCain on 9/11

It’s 9/11 again, this year the 17th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Relatives of those who died in the attacks will gather in Lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to commemorate the loss. Some relatives will wear or carry photographs of their loved ones. In Shanksville, visitors will walk through the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Names will be read. Flowers will be left. Mourners will embrace.
In 2015, …