Sunday, June 19, 2005

Cubs smoked in SMOKE FREE NYC

I had the good fortune of spending the weekend in New York. The bad part of the whole deal is I had to watch the Cubs, the good part is I only saw them lose one game, the game on Saturday. I spent Friday night enjoying dinner with my wife followed by drinks at a couple of bars in Manhattan. On Sunday afternoon we went to the theatre. When I was planning the trip I really wanted to see two games. I am thankful I only wasted Saturday afternoon watching the Northsiders.

One of the things that I noticed as we jumped around to a few bars in Manhattan was the fact that all bars here are smoke free. According to the locals they have been for a couple of years now. So I started thinking about this. New York and Boston now have smoking bans in bars and restaurants. California has had a similar ban for sometime now. It's just a matter of time until this smoking ban sweeps through and hits all of us in flyover country including Chicago.

For the record I am not a smoker. I have to admit that I have learned how to tolerate second hand smoke spending most of my 20's and early 30's in Midwestern bars. It's hard for me to imagine going into Lottie's or Rich's First One Today and not smelling cigarette smoke. Isn't smoke part of the ambiance of the Chicago neighborhood tavern?

One of the first things I noticed on Friday night, as I sat down to enjoy a cold Rheingold, was that the bar lacked the second hand smoke, I expect with my average night out. I asked the owner what he thought of the ban. He said he liked the fact that his clothes didn't smell after a night working, but overall his business had suffered.

It made me wonder, is there a market for smoke free bars? If there was wouldn't we already have them scattered throughout Chicago and the rest of America? Wouldn't the laws of supply and demand force bar owners to hang "no smoking" signs without being told to by local government? You would think. I think the average bar patron could care less about smoke in a bar, tavern or pub.

So, the smoke free bar is on it's way Chicago. It's going to make those of us who enjoy taverns a whole lot healthier. Because taverns are all about good health!

The Yankees really exposed the Cubs as a team with too many holes.(The Cubs now trail the Redbirds by 9-1/2) The Cubs were not playing the 1998 Bronx Bombers. This Yankee team went into the series only a game above .500. Still they have talent and players that know how to play the game the right way. Over the three games series Yankee hitters saw 108 more pitches than Cub hitters (479-371). Is anyone in the dugout or in Cub management paying attention to this? Anyone? ANYone? ANYONE?

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