Big Smoke '06
Like trick-or-treaters on Halloween or kids on Christmas morning, thousands of suit-wearing middle aged men dashed excitedly through the doors of the Marriott Marquis banquet room on Tuesday evening to raid the booty found at the year's biggest cigar extravaganza-- The Big Smoke.
Like bid-seeking frat pledges on a scavenger hunt, they ran from table to table with their books of free cigar coupons, tearing out the paper strips with one hand and exchanging them for the Dominican Republic's finest as they somehow managed to puff coronas and sip expensive scotch at the same time.
I was one of them. Though not yet middle-aged.
One person I overheard called the scene, "like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange." If the floor of the NYSE is anything like it is in the movie Trading Places, I agree. Of course, the stock exchange doesn't have cigars and Johnny Walker Blue Label being handed out by cleavage-baring young women.
Or does it? I've never been there.
In any case, I've got about 32 cigars now. And memories that will last a lifetime...
WARNING: SOPRANOS SEASON 6 (Part 2) SPOILER ALERT!!!!
Read no further unless you want to know that Vito, is in fact, NOT DEAD!!!!
Whoops, may have botched the spoiler warning there.
Don't get too upset. How do I know Vito's not dead?? I saw him. He was at the big smoke, looking very unafraid of being whacked (although he did have a bodyguard).
Hard to tell from that image, but it's him all right. I was as shocked as you are. But not as shocked as I was when I found out who else was at the Big Smoke that night...
Shocking, I know. Sopranos-watchers know that Phil Leotardo, pictured above, personally whacked Vito. But did he? Seeing the two at the same event raises the obvious question: Did Phil merely make it LOOK as if he killed Vito? Maybe he just wanted him out of his family's life. Perhaps Vito is living happily in New Hampshire, with his boyfriend, Mr. Flapjack.
It certainly seems possible, given what I witnessed last night!
This blog has a nice little Big Smoke round up. Although he apparently missed the big Sopranos bombshell.
So who's going to help me smoke all these cigars???
A shot of some of my fellow party-goers... a future Port Authority president, a future congressman, and the two best lawyers in America: