Review and Test Drive: 2020 Lexus GX 460

by Jonathan Spira

The Lexus GX, first launched in 2002 and built on the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado platform, arrived at a time in the United States where there was no coronavirus pandemic and the biggest health concern was SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, an epidemic traced back to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Yunnan, China.
Life was simpler then.  The iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter had yet to be invented and, as a result, the …

Great Moments in Travel History – March 2021

by Jesse Sokolow

The month of March one year ago is when the travel industry began to reel from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as major hotel chains shut down thousands of properties, banks closed an equal number of branches, airlines reduced schedules by up to 50%, and telecommuting became the way many people went to work.  Broadway theaters closed on March 12, and cultural institutions across the globe closed shortly thereafter.
March …

25 Years After Deadly Explosion, Wreckage of TWA Flight 800 to Be Destroyed

by Kurt Stolz

TWA Flight 800, a Boeing 747 en route from New York City to Paris, exploded in midair and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Long Island on the night of July 17, 1996.
At precisely 8:31 p.m. local time, an explosion that was ultimately determined to have been caused by a spark from fuel gauge wiring inside the center wing fuel tank of the 747 that in …

Review and Test Drive: Apple CarPlay’s Cool New Dual-Display Support in the VW Atlas Cross Sport

by Jonathan Spira

Apple first introduced its CarPlay infotainment system seven years ago at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. If you’re not familiar with Apple CarPlay, it is an in-vehicle touch-based display interface that functions as an extension of a driver’s iPhone and six years later, it became available in almost every new vehicle sold.
At the time of its introduction, CarPlay only had access to the vehicle’s central information display, or CID, typically …

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Cadillac XT6 Sport Platinum

by Jonathan Spira

The Cadillac XT6 is the largest vehicle in the automaker’s XT series, which offers three crossovers that include the smaller XT5 and XT4.   The only vehicle Cadillac offers that is larger than the XT6 is the Escalade.
Introduced at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the seven-seater went on sale as a 2020 model later that year.  It is the third of three vehicles announced by Cadillac in …

Photo Essay: New York Botanical Garden ‘Spotlight on Orchids’

by Paul Riegler

The pandemic has meant many changes for New York’s cultural institutions, among them the New York Botanical Garden.
Each year, the garden presents a highly regarded orchid exhibition but, amidst the pandemic-induced restrictions currently in effect in the New York area and the terrible toll that the coronavirus has taken, it is presenting a more limited exhibition – ‘Spotlight on Orchids’ – in the Enid Haupt Conservatory, an Italian Renaissance building …

Pandemic Restaurant Review: Katz’s Delicatessen, New York City

by Jonathan Spira

This isn’t Katz’s Delicatessen’s first pandemic. The New York landmark, which opened in 1888 across the street from present location, moved just in time for the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which it managed to survive.
Despite the repeated openings and closings of indoor dining in New York City, Katz’s has remained open, sometimes just for take out and delivery, and now, once again, open for indoor dining, albeit with a 25% …