The Times has sent critic Dwight Garner on a literary tour of New York in order to answer novelist Gary Shteyngart's immortal question, Can New Yorkers still throw a good party with only a bottle of shampoo? The answer appears to be "maybe," if you are in Brooklyn and allowed to smoke and are also in a coffee shop.
The NYT's Andrew Jacobs chronicles the history of smoking in New York, from Dorothy Parker to the '21' club, to a trading floor on Wall Street a week ago. Writer Fran Lebowitz: "It's the continued suburbanization of New York,"...In a city filled with undersize apartments, the bars and restaurants, she says, are collective living rooms and parlors, the places for intellectual discourse and artistic give and take. "The history of ideas, as opposed to notions, is that you sit around bars and talk," she said. "You can't sit around in bars and not smoke."
Walk a mile for a camel? Not far enough anymore. [NYT]