by Jonathan Spira

The reopening of international borders has given rise to family reunions and the activation of long-dormant travel plans to Europe but such trips come with a fairly large caveat: “Avoid travel” recommendations from Austria to the former Yugoslavia are now in place.
“Because of the current situation,” the CDC writes on its travel-advisory website, “even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants.”
The situation that the …

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like… Hanukkah

by Anna Breuer

It may only be the end of November but last week’s Thanksgiving celebrations were a reminder that the holiday season is upon us and the festival of Hanukkah starts Sunday night, the 28th.
First, a brief word about the events that led to the modern eight-day celebration.  The festival commemorates the recovery of Jerusalem and the rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid …

As 2022 Approaches, Airlines and Hotels Extend Elite Status Once Again

by Kurt Stolz

While the number of people flying and driving great distances hit a pandemic high over the Thanksgiving holiday, the travel industry isn’t seeing sustainable increases as the world heads into the final six weeks of the year.
Airlines and hotel chains are making note and taking steps to keep their best customers happy with yet another year of bestowed elite status, mirroring at least in part what happened at the end …

Briefly Noted: Frolicking with ‘Fairycakes’ at Greenwich House Theater

by Jonathan Spira

Douglas Carter Beane’s “Fairycakes,” a lighthearted frolic starring Ann Harada, Jackie Hoffman, and Julie Halston among others, offers the audience the experience of what Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” might be like on LSD by adding in characters from children’s stories including Cinderella, Geppetto, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty.
Beane takes great liberties with the original characters (Geppetto and the Prince from “Sleeping Beauty” fall in love, at least for …

Thanksgiving is Thursday – Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed

by Anna Breuer

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a national day of giving thanks for the harvest.  Travel is expected to be close to pre-pandemic levels after a year where the country largely stayed put amidst the coronavirus pandemic-induced decline in group activities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance stating that anyone attending a family gathering should be fully vaccinated, urging everyone to avoid crowded and poorly ventilated spaces.
George …

Ford, GM, Mercedes Among 6 Automakers and 30 Countries in Glasgow Pledging a Zero-Emissions Future

by Paul Riegler

Six automakers and 30 countries pledged, at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, to move to eliminate the production of new gasoline- and diesel-powered automobiles by 2040. While the list includes such major automakers as Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo, as well as countries such as Britain, Canada, India, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and the Netherlands, the compendium of companies that either abstained or did not pledge was …

Thursday is Veterans Day: Here’s What’s Open and What’s Closed

by Kurt Stolz

Thursday is Veterans Day in the United States, a federal holiday that honors military veterans.  The holiday, which coincides with Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries, marks both the anniversary of the end of the First World War in 1918, as an armistice ending all hostilities went into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 and honors all veterans.
In 1919, …

Daylight Saving Time for 2021 to End This Sunday

by Paul Riegler

Just one week after the European Union set its clocks back by one hour to Winter Time, the United States will, in lockstep, return to standard time on Sunday, November 7, at 2 a.m. local time.
Daylight Saving Time in the United States will resume on March 13, 2022 and end on November 6. In the European Union, Summer Time will start on March 27, 2022.
Summer Time – or Daylight Saving …