Lobby Bar – September 14: Carpool Karaoke with the Beatles, Power Pokémon, and ‘I’ll Take Thurston Howell III for $500, Alex!’

by Anna Breuer

Lobby Bar: Making Travel News Great Again
Gilligan! Jonathan Spira and a guest took a three-hour tour of City Island and ended up chartering a boat from Jack’s Bait & Tackle, skippered by a familiar looking character with a black skipper’s cap who went by the name of Jonas Grumby. They haven’t been heard from since.
No soup for you! Tired of serving as a punching bag for irate customers, customer service reps …

Volkswagen to End Production of Iconic Beetle in 2019

by Paul Riegler

After three generations and seven decades, Volkswagen will end production of the Beetle come next year.
To commemorate the final year of production, Volkswagen will add two commemorative models, the Final Edition SE and Final Edition SEL.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen announced it would not replace the current Beetle with an updated model but declined to provide specifics.  Now the Wolfsburg-based automaker has made it clear that the end is in sight.
But …

Expect Travel Disruptions Through Early Next Week from Florence: Here Are Some Tips to Minimize the Impact

by Paul Riegler

While the Mid-Atlantic region braces for what is being described as a “life-threatening” hurricane called Florence, many travelers are wondering, “Should I even take that flight?”
The storm, slated to make landfall in the Carolinas as a dangerous Category 3 storm Friday morning, is predicted to produce catastrophic flooding and heavy rain over a larger swath of the region and farther inland than had been originally predicted.
Expect significant travel disruptions, not …

What’s Doing on City Island in New York

by Anna Breuer

City Island, more of a New England fishing village than a neighborhood within the borders of New York City, is a quaint and really small island [it’s only 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) long by .5-mile (.8-kilometer) wide] located at the extreme western end of the Long Island Sound.
The island was originally inhabited by Siwanoy Indians and first settled by Europeans in 1654. In 1761, it was purchased by Benjamin Palmer of New …

Editorial: Invoking John McCain on 9/11

by Jonathan Spira

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, …

No More Mr. Nice Guy: Is the Unpleasant Customer the New Norm?

by Paul Riegler

Several recent experiences I had with customer service representatives gave me pause. Each thanked me at the end of the call for being “nice.” While I didn’t question it the first time, I did ask the second and third representatives why they were thanking me for merely being civil.
I had a broken part or product in each instance, in one case not under warranty, and I was …

Lobby Bar – September 7: Theo in the House, Send in the Clowns and ‘I’ll Take Leonardo DiCaprio for $200, Alex!’

by Anna Breuer

Lobby Bar: An Alliterative Alliance of Fact and Fiction
Falling light zone. Theatergoers at a recent performance, at the National Yiddish Theatre, of “Fiddler on the Roof” honoring the late and prolific actor Theodore Bikel – who played the role of Tevye more times than any other performer – were surprised when, in the middle of the performance, a few familiar organ chords were heard and an unnoticed but very large chandelier …