Written by Gary J. Arzt

Monday, 02 February 2009

User Rating: / 1


In 1929, there was more than 500,000,000 cigars hand rolled in Tampa, FL alone! There were, in 1950, some 20,000 manufacturers of cigars in the Continental United States.

These factories no longer exist and now the anti-cigar, anti-enjoyment Fascists want to destroy the last vestige of it all...banning smoking in cigar bars!

I just returned from a few days in New York City where I enjoyed relaxing and smoking at Barclay-Rex (67 Broad Street), Davidoff (535 Madison Avenue), De La Concha (1390 Avenue of the Americas) and the wonderful hospitality, courtesy of friends who are members, at both the Grand Havana Room (666 Fifth Avenue) and the Carnegie Club (156 West 56 Street). It was just too damned cold to be outside!

At the Carnegie Club I happened upon an old friend of mine from San Francisco, who, like myself, had smoked only Havana cigars for more decades then we like to remember. He heartily agreed with me that we no longer need to go to the trouble of obtaining Havanas inasmuch as there are just so many great cigars being made elsewhere today.

Unprompted, he rattled off some of his favourites - all of which I agree with and most of which I smoke. Just for the record, and your edification, I've listed them here:

My Father (Nicaragua); Litto Gomez Diez (DR); Cubao (Nicaragua); Leon Jimenes 300 (DR); La Flor Dominicana (DR); 601 (Nicaragua); Padron (Nicaragua); Casa Magna (Nicaragua); La Aurora Preferidos (DR); San Cristobal (Nicaragua)

He went on, but as I didn't take notes, I have exhausted my recollection of his list. I doubt that anyone could disagree with the quality of his selections. And, what I found notable was the number of these great smokes produced by Pepin Garcia!

For those New Yorkers, and others, that want to get away from the cold and repair to a warmer climate, try Miami Beach. If you do, I heartily recommend enjoying your favourite cigar at Deco Drive Cigars (414 Lincoln Road - just west of Washington Avenue). This elegant emporium, with a well stocked walk-in humidor, an excellent wine selection, now has about eighty (80) seats outside, a full liquor license, the same great salads, Panini sandwiches and meat and cheese platters that they have always offered. They are the only Davidoff Agent on the beach.

Joey Bevilacqua, the proprietor has launched a 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM "Happy Hour" with all well drinks at $5.00! For those into more eclectic smokes (No, not that kind), they offer hookah pipes as well.

I've been impressed by the very proactive stance of Cigar Rights of America since the appointment of Glynn Loope as the Executive Director. We all knew that that was what was missing. The Board and Keith Park (Promethus) did yeoman's work; but running an organization like CRA - with the tremendous battle it must wage on our behalf, cannot be a part time effort.

I think Glynn did as much as possible with regard to the issues in Los Angeles, Boston and Dallas.

Even their website has been much more interesting and informative and, most important, it conveys a sense of immediacy. Pay attention to it; its free.

But...join the organization, which is not free, but not much more pricey than a few good cigars; if you want to be able to continue to enjoy your cigars, help CRA help us.


0 # What a GuyJose Blanco 2009-02-02 21:54
;-) Wish the industry would have more people like Gary, guess some people have other opinions, but he calls them the way he sees them, keep going Gary.:D

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