January 2, 2014

So when exactly did Delta Air Lines begin channeling its inner JetBlue and decide it no longer wanted to be a loathsome legacy air carrier? It’s a question I’ve been mulling lately, having frequently flown with Delta back and forth across the country, and experiencing a rather impressive level of customer service along the way… Read more

American Express: The Tarnish on a Once-Vaunted Brand

December 19, 2013

Once upon a time, qualifying for an American Express card meant something. There was a certain prestige to “membership” — you were never a mere cardholder — due to the stringent creditworthiness requirements.  When my first AmEx card arrived some 30 years ago, I considered it my official admission into full adulthood. American Express once… Read more

La Vita è bella – In America, that is

August 10, 2011

My ability to communicate with those around me is something I’ve always taken for granted. Never have I appreciated that skill more than when I found myself in a foreign country being yelled at by a hotel housekeeper, getting more worked up by the moment as I struggled to translate what she was saying.  My… Read more

Dining with Benjamin Prelvukaj and Jason Avery

April 9, 2010

New York may be renowned for having some of the finest restaurants in the world, but few have called our neighborhood in midtown Manhattan home.  Around the corner from Grand Central Terminal, the area around Madison and 42nd Street had always been more of a “passing through” area rather than a destination spot for people… Read more

Getting “Cranky” Over the Parasite Blogger Myth

January 7, 2010

Much has been written and speculated about the dire state of the mainstream media, both in terms of its financial condition and declining ethical standards.  If you ask me, much of the current financial troubles can be attributed to industry leaders’ death grip on their widely held misperception that citizen bloggers can’t produce good content… Read more

How Very Unrewarding, Starwood

February 25, 2008

After months of trumpeting the Starwood Preferred Guest program and mere hours after reaffirming my preference for its Westin Hotels chain, I regrettably find myself doing a complete 180 as I declare a personal boycott of all Starwood properties. According to the New York Post, Starwood – whose properties include the Westin, Sheraton, St. Regis,… Read more

Beverly Hills, My Way

February 22, 2008

With the snow piling up outside my office window and the ice and slush taking over midtown’s sidewalks 23 stories below, can you fault me for having California on my mind? It’s not just a weather thing. I love California. If not for some immovable practicalities, I’d pack up and head up there tomorrow –… Read more

In Praise of Virgin America’s Abby Lunardini

February 15, 2008

Let’s face it, most airlines are indifferent about public relations. Although the major ones were once ranked among the most creative and effective brand marketers, today they are more concerned with trying to figure out how to cram more people on the plane than with making sure passengers are happy. United’s friendly skies are no… Read more