Today, I sit in my home office, enjoying a AVO Domaine #20 I picked up yesterday. The temperature in NYC had dipped well below the freezing mark (F) into negative numbers, making it hard to enjoy the sun and sometimes harder to enjoy a cigar on the breeze. But it does make it good weather to go and explore a good cigar store. I usually, when in Manhattan and teaching, go to the Barclay-Rex on Wall Street. But I won’t be there until next week and I had a cigar bomb to do (if you’ve never experienced a cigar bomb, it’s when a B/SotL sends you an amazing but unexpected selection of cigars — generally creates a mess in your humidor because it may cause it to overflow, hence the name).
Anyways, since I was in the West 4th subway station area, I decided to walk down to Soho. I knew there was a nice little cigar store there called OK Cigars. I had been there before and one of the things that attracted me to it was the tobacciana. It is filled with posters, old lighters, old pipes and other great historical stuff. I love perusing these items as they show the history of cigar and pipe smoking, and history in general. And it’s the lighters in particular that interest me. I even saw a leg lighter that reminded me of the leg lamp from the movie “A Christmas Story”.
Although it has a small and tightly packed walk-in humidor, it does have some really interesting finds (and my poor victim will get to enjoy some of those) as well as some of my regular favourites: AF Short Story, AVO Domaine #20, Camacho, etc.). The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable, willing to suggest new cigars to both the newbie and aficionado alike. It does stand out in comparison to the very upscale expensive clothing, jewelry and shoe stores of the area. But the prices aren’t reflective of the area beyond being pretty standard for most Manhattan cigar places ( since rent is higher the prices tend to be higher). I don’t mind this as I do like supporting the B&M type places as much as my favourite online places.
It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t have a smoking area (at least not that I could see) but it does have a warm and friendly atmosphere. While I was there, I talked with another customer about the AVO Domaine and others I had choosen (I got about a dozen cigars). He was mildly impressed at my stash but I reminded him it’s more about enjoying and sharing with friends than it is about the cigars. So if you are in the NYC/Manhattan area, whether a regular or visiting, check them out and enjoy the trip into a bit of history.