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Articles by Jonathan Spira

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63

Mercedes-Benz introduced the first GLS Class, which was known as the GL-Class, at the North American Auto Show in 2006.  It was the flagship SUV in the Stuttgart-based automaker’s lineup, the SUV equivalent to the S Class, if you will.
While we didn’t review the original GL, we did review the second generation GL at its launch.  My colleague Dan Collins noted that the new (at the time) GL was “larger …

I Will Not Be Silent

Over the past nine weeks, the capitals of the two countries I call home – Austria and the United States – experienced domestic terrorist attacks.
In the November 2nd attack in Vienna, it was a lone gunman, a 20-year-old Islamic terrorist who managed to kill four people and wound 23 others.  The attack was carried out in such a manner that the police originally believed that there were multiple shooters.
Some eight …

Strictly Speaking, It Wasn’t a Coup… So What Was It?

A good part of my Wednesday afternoon this week, in between doses of live coverage from the U.S. Capitol, bursts of work, and time spent wondering if the world was coming to an end, was spent explaining to people why what was transpiring in the nation’s capital wasn’t a coup.
My responses read something like this:
“No. It was not an attempted coup.  It might, however, in some banana republics have been …

Review and Test Drive: 2021 Kia K5 GT-Line

Despite long being a symbol of the open road, Americans are falling out of love with the sedan and have focused their affections on behemoth SUVs, which now dominate the market.  General Motors, whose models for the majority of the automaker’s existence were the epitome of the genre, recently killed six sedans including the Buick LaCrosse, the Cadillac CT6, the Cadillac XTS, the Chevrolet Cruze, the Chevrolet Impala, and the …

Review: New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic’s 2021 in the Musikverein, Vienna

Watching the annual Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert is an event steeped in tradition.  It’s the only televised event I can recall from growing up for which attendance was mandatory, regardless of the turn of events over the previous year.
Indeed, my father had never attended but he and I entered the lottery (which then gives the winners the right to purchase the, rather expensive but once-in-a-lifetime, tickets), and I …

Review: ‘Virtual Impossibilities’ Brings Mentalism into Your Living Room, Streamed from The Wild Project

The closing of theaters due to the coronavirus hasn’t stopped mentalists from performing. Indeed, as if by magic, some will appear in your home virtually on demand.
Eric Walton, whose off-Broadway show “Esoterica” ran for seven months, is livestreaming a new and pandemic-ready show, “Virtual Impossibilities,” from the Wild Project in the East Village of New York City.   He promises an evening of mentalism and mind-reading and delivers this directly into …

Restaurant Review: Sycamore Drive-In Restaurant, Bethel, Connecticut

As the coronavirus pandemic took hold, drive-in movie theaters began springing up in droves. It was only natural that drive-in restaurants would also experience a resurgence.  We’ve reviewed several but none has stood out as authentic as the Sycamore Drive-In Restaurant in Bethel, Connecticut.
If you haven’t heard of Bethel, don’t fret, you’ll still be welcome.  While the town covers 16.9 square miles (44 square kilometers) and has a population of …