Posted: Nov 14, 2008 10:17am ET
I went to Club Macanudo last night with some friends. I was hardly ready for another cigar; we’d spent the afternoon working through the final selection for the next Top Cigar of the Year. A bit smoked out, and tired, I walked up Madison Avenue, past stores still lit up but empty of shoppers, and that was a nerve-wracking reminder of all the financial news that had been flashing across my computer screen all day—and Thursday was a good, albeit pretty tumultuous, day on Wall Street.
So when I walked through the door of Club Macanudo, and was hit by the sweet aroma of good cigars, I was little surprised at my reaction; a deep breath and a sigh of relief and a glow of pleasure. I felt like I was walking into a living room filled with friends.
My friend was already at the bar with a glass of wine, and a cigar given to him by the man who was the main reason we were all gathering, Arek Aboulian of Raffi’s cigar shop in Geneva, Switzerland. Arek had joined James Suckling at the Las Vegas Big Smoke for a panel on the state of the Cuban cigar industry, and was passing through New York on his way home to meet with some folks who frequent his store in Switzerland.
Arek handed me a wonderful aged cigar of “unknown” origin. I ordered a glass of Montecristo Rum on the rocks. And immediately, I was transported leagues away from the cares of the day. My friend and I began talking about golf and cigars and stories about our kids; he won the kid story competition but I won’t repeat it here. We were joined by more of his friends, some of whom I also knew from Sleepy Hollow Country Club.
I had said I could only spend about an hour there, and when I finally looked down at my watch, the hour had passed, and I had to leave. Fortunately, the cigar was down to the last third, although it was still painful to leave it behind. It was also hard to leave. The camaraderie and relaxation was just what the doctor would have ordered. And, I was reminded once again about the reasons we all love to share a great cigar and a glass of our favorite adult beverage with friends.
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