It’s National Car Care Month: Here’s What to Do to Prepare for Summer Touring

by Jonathan Spira

April isn’t only the month many people swap their winter tires for summer tires but it’s also National Car Care month as well, a good time to have your automobile checked for any issues that might have developed over the long, cold winter, investigate any funny noises, and prepare your vehicle, as my Mercedes-Benz dealer in New York, Helms Bros., put it in an e-mail, “prepare your car for the …

Death Rate in New York City Rose by 50% in 2020, First Time in Almost 200 Years

by Paul Riegler

While regular readers of this space are more than aware of the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, we continue to uncover new aspects of the pandemic’s impact as more data from the past three years comes to light.
The coronavirus pandemic caused the death rate in New York City in calendar year 2020 to climb approximately50% over the previous year, according to new data released by the city’s Department of Health.
This …

Review: ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre

by Jonathan Spira

The story of Sweeney Todd, which dates back to a penny-dreadful of the nineteenth century, was known to me growing up but I first became intimately acquainted with the demon barber of Fleet Street when I saw the Broadway revival of the musical at the Circle in the Square Theater in the fall of 1989.  Unlike in the original 1979 production, directed by Harold Prince, which occupied the enormous Uris …

Great Moments in Travel History – April 2023

by Jesse Sokolow

April, the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, was the second month of the earliest Roman calendar, before Januarius and Februarius were added by King Numa Pompilius over 2,700 years ago.
The month is commonly associated with spring and rain, as in the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” The month is also associated with two major religious holidays that result in one of the busiest travel seasons …

Airlines and Hotels to Customers: Stay Home and Use Videoconferencing Despite Pandemic Reopening

by Paul Riegler

VIENNA, Austria, April 1 — On the opening day of its annual meeting, the American Society and Service of Corporate Ambulatory Managers (ASSCAM) at the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna announced findings of a research report that, among other things, said that its members should encourage their best customers to stay home more and use videoconferencing, continuing practices begun during the pandemic.
ASSCAM is the largest association of corporate travel managers executives …

Concert Review: ‘O How Good’ – Bloch’s ‘Sacred Service’ at Central Synagogue, Presented by MasterVoices

by Jonathan Spira

The 1965 hit album “You Don’t Have To Be Jewish” is largely about the universality of humor but the title could just as easily apply to the sacred music by Kurt Weill and Ernst Bloch by MasterVoices, formerly the Collegiate Chorale, in a one-night only performance at the Central Synagogue on Lexington Avenue.
The most well-known sacred music in the Christian Church comes from composers including Bach, Brahms, Haydn, Mozart, and …

Today is Piano Day: Celebrate by Listening to Piano Works by the World’s Greatest Pianists

by Anna Breuer

Happy Piano Day, everyone! It’s time to gently tinkle the ivories!
The idea for World Piano Day originated with the Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm in 2015.
The holiday falls on the 88th day of the year – in 2023, that would be March 29 – and is a worldwide event founded by a “group of like-minded people,” the holiday’s website explains.  The 88th day was chosen because of the number of keys …