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The Morning Cigar

Jun 27, 2007 | By David Savona
Most workday mornings I walk from the train station to the office. Usually my goal is to time my stride so I make the lights, but today I felt like a cigar.

I stopped for a moment, took out my cigar case and removed a corona-sized Dominican cigar given to me by a friend. I cut it, then lit it with my Extend torch (always be prepared, right?) and started walking down Lexington Avenue.

The morning cigar is often my favorite smoke of the day. The palate is fresh, and things typically taste different early in the morning. The cigar tasted stronger than it usually does, especially at first, and it had just a touch of harshness that I seldom remember. (I'm not going to name the cigar, as I would never rate a cigar this way: being outside and walking is hardly scientific, and there’s no way to fully concentrate on the smoke.) But about four blocks into the walk, it had settled down into the hearty, woody flavor I typically associate with this cigar.

It was a completely different walk. Instead of feeling rushed, I felt relaxed. Instead of watching the lights, I was watching my fellow commuters, looking at the shop signs, and noticing a few details I otherwise would have missed.

No one gave me the evil eye for smoking, and it’s a sad comment on today’s world that I would even consider that as a possibility. (There was one raised eyebrow outside Grand Central Station when I removed my oversized Donatus guillotine cutter from my pocket, but that thing draws a stare in cigar bars, so I suppose that was to be expected.) I tried to avoid blowing smoke in anyone’s face, and no one seemed to object to my cigar.

I didn’t have time to smoke all of it, but I smoked enough to put a smile on my face. And I arrived at my office at just about the same time I normally would had I not been puffing away.

All in all, it was a good way to start the day.
"The protests were held once a week on the southwest corner of the street. They were there rain or shine, in the frigid cold or the stifling heat. " —June 28, 2007 18:39 PM
"Scott, I've walked by that Embassy many times. (I think it's 38th as well.) I've yet to see the protesters. Good thing you didn't flaunt your choice of cigar." —June 28, 2007 09:40 AM
"Matthew, I like your Red Auerbach ritual. Nicely done.Hakan, thanks for chiming in from Stockholm. I don't suppose you would do the morning walk and smoke there in the winter, but if it makes you feel better I don't do it during the winters in New York that often either. " —June 28, 2007 09:39 AM
"I used to live a few blocks from the CA office and have enjoyed the walk from Grand Central down Lexington with a cigar many, many times. Only a few times did anyone say anything. (Once, a woman coughed obnoxiously and said, "you're stinking up the air we all have to breathe!" I held up the cigar and pointed out to her that it hadn't even been lit yet.) I used to make it a point to stop and pick up a couple cups of coffee for the protesters kiddy-corner from the Cuban embassy to the UN on, I think, 38th. They would hold vigil there every Thursday or Friday night (I forget which). I'm sure they would have liked me less had they noticed what the brand of my cigar was. " —June 27, 2007 18:39 PM
"David, that sounds like a good start.I have experienced the same feeling when walking around in Stockholm in the mornings with a cigar in my hand (not in wintertime.) Very nice!!Best regradsHakan/Stockholm" —June 27, 2007 14:04 PM
"The "leaving the office" smoke on Friday evening is by far my favorite. Upon ignition, the words of Red Auerbach fill my head when the great coach would reflect on his cigar smoking at the end of a Celtics victory.Smoking a cigar on my walk home from work on a Friday is my way of declaring victory on the work week.By the looks I get, people have the same idea. I have never had anyone object to it and folks usually flash a smile. They know, they just know." —June 27, 2007 13:23 PM

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