Happy New Year! Assuming you’re sitting on a plane reading this now, we survived what most believe was technically the new millennium without the mass confusion and chaos predicted by some a year ago. Those predictions seem so far away, I’d practically forgotten about them. So I had to laugh when I read Jim Shahin’s column this issue. Of course, making readers laugh is usually Jim’s point, and laugh I usually do, but this one was particularly fitting. Jim’s feeling a little sorry for 2001, and you probably will too after reading his ponderings on page 74.

Whether or not it’s been neglected by the millennial hype it deserves, we’re kicking off the year with an issue full of forward-thinking good stuff. In our Travel section, check out “Reach Out and Touch” (page 34), a piece packed with the latest gadgets to make traveling easier. From portable projectors to Web-surfing digital cameras, these goodies will help start your year off properly high-tech. I know so many gadget gurus — mostly guys who can’t wait to get their hands on the newest tech toys — that I’m sure this will be one of those rip-and-read articles you’ll keep in your briefcase for future purchases.

In our Lifestyle section, we have a roundup of another sort: “Cultural Exchange” (page 52), American Way’s picks of the best art exhibitions around the United States (with one or two elsewhere for good measure). Our offices are inundated with press materials on hundreds of exhibits throughout the year, and we know your time is limited. We sorted through them all and found the top 10 you can’t miss. Most of them are traveling shows, so perhaps one’s coming to your city soon.

Finally, in our Business section is “Well Con-nected” (page 88), a “now” piece on the latest air-port technology. We’re talking Internet access in kiosks, pay-phone modems, even private offices — right in the airport — and more. There’s also a handy listing of the high-tech offerings at airports around the country.

Let us know what you think at americanway@compuserve.com.