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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Covid and Travel: There Is Light at the End of the Tunnel, But the CDC Won’t Tell You About It (Yet)

If you found something missing last week when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance saying that those who had received both of their Covid-19 inoculations could socialize with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or maintaining their distance, you weren’t alone.
Immediately upon reading the guidance as well as our news brief on the topic, my mind went to travel.  Riding in an airplane is safer …

I Was Vaccinated, and I Fear No More

Immediately after getting my first coronavirus inoculation, I felt like a, superman, albeit not quite in the sense of Nietzsche’s Übermensch.  Of course I realized that my journey through the Age of the Coronavirus was far from over, but it was one step closer to a beginning of a return to normalcy.
On a recent Sunday, I received my second vaccine shot and that evening, headed to the restaurant Daniel, a …

Restaurant Review: Black Forest Brooklyn – ‘Your Greenhouse is Ready’

As the thermometer began to hover closer to the freezing mark, restaurateurs in New York City became understandably anxious as, at the time, indoor dining was not an option under then-current pandemic rules.  The more creative among them built yurts, bubbles, cabins, sheds, and even greenhouses.
Out of the various choices, a greenhouse, which comes with an aluminum frame and clear, hard polycarbonate windows, is perhaps the most durable and stable …

Review and Test Drive: 2020 Lexus GX 460

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 …

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

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

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 …

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

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% …