Sunday, February 26, 2017

IPSD (International Pipe Smoking Day) 2017

Howdy fellow Cigar and Pipe Smokers,
What a month February's been. We started out with news that the second oldest family run Cigar shop / Lounge was sold to Altria, a division of Phillip Morris, leaving only Barclay Rex as the last family run establishment in New York.

Which brings me to the title of this post. Myself, Dimitri Sassov, and Vernon Vig were charged with securing a venue in New York that would accommodate our celebration of IPSD.  Back in October, Halloween weekend to be exact, I was at Barclay Rex's new shop on 126 Pearl Street enjoy the launch of Tatuje's Halloween Cigar. They had a party where all in attendance were in costume. I happened to meet the owner, Vincent Nastri's daughter Vanessa. We talked and I broached the idea of the New York Pipe Club doing an event with the store. I suggested us collaborating on celebrating IPSD in February. I also suggested this to Joanna Ubowska, a sales associate. They were both receptive to the idea but had to run it past Vinnie for his approval.

At the December meeting myself and Dimitri proposed the idea of holding IPSD at Barclay Rex. Club president Lou Carbone was keen on the idea and presented a list of questions that he wanted addressed before he could announce the event to the membership. Back and forth email between Joanna and myself were exchanged. Eventually all was resolved and the event was a go.

Fast forward, preparations were underway for the event when we learned that Nat Sherman was sold to Altria making Barclay Rex the last family run shop in NYC. This made the event more special. This was conveyed to the members.

Event day February 18th, Saturday, came and as always the NYPC and our sister clubs, the South Jersey Pipe Club, and the Christopher Morley Pipe Club (Philly) came out in full force. Also in attendance were pipe smokers who were on the store's email list. We were able to also invite Joyce from Lane Tobacco, a division of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, to join our event. She spoke about what the FDA's pending ruling meant to the industry. She said as long as the blend contained components that has been in the marketplace there were no issues. She also spoke of lawsuits that they had filed delaying the implementation of the ruling. Barclay Rex came thru with a special tobacco blend that featured a 12 yr old Virginia blend with Turkish Orientals. A tasty blend that became. (I was privy to be one of the tasters who was involved in getting the blend to it final stages) . The club and the Lane rep bought tobaccos for the attendees to sample. Members brought bottles of liquor for all to enjoy. Barclay Rex offered 20% off all pipes and included a hand made Barclay Rex pipe, carved by Vinnie's grandfather. They also provided light bites which consisted of an Italian smoked meats platter, chips and guacamole dip, and also an onion dip as well. A raffle for an antique pipe tobacco jar was also held.

Sadly 😢, the event came to an end, as must all good things. But feedback gathered, event was positive with all on attendance very impressed. Maybe we'll do this next IPSD event there as well.

As I close this post, the first in a long while, we had a blast and anyone wishing to get a sneak peak at our event can check out my Facebook page, Patrick Grant, for a sneak peek of Facebook live videos I shot of the event. Pictures of the event are posed on the New York Pipe Club's Facebook page.

Join me at Barclay Rex on Monday February 27th as we celebrate National Cigar Day, featuring a whiskey tasting. Event is from 1pm - 8pm at the store at 126 Pearl St.

Also next pipe club event is the New York Pipe Show, March 11th, at the Wyndham Newark Airport Hotel to be followed by a trip to JR Cigars in Whippany NJ.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

November Pipe Club meeting

Mike B smoking his pipe at the November Pipe Club meeting

Howdy all, your friendly neighbourhood blogger here. Can't believe it's been so long since I last posted any updates. A lot has transpired since my last post and I'll try to document them in this blog post.

Well we've got a lot to speak on.  We had our annual summer picnic at Hank's house in East Brunswick NJ. A great time was had by all.  Plenty of food,  wine and beer plus other alcoholic beverages were on hand. We ate drank and smoked our pipes till the daylight faded. Our former president Vermont Via and his wife Susan paid us a surprise visit on their way to their upstate retreat.

But,  you'd have to be there to enjoy the loads of food and drink that was provided for the barbecue. My thanks go out to Hank for putting on such a glorious  spread.

We had our August,  September and October meetings at Circa  Tabac, now called the Soho Cigar lounge.  Finally I am now able to document,  in pictures and words our meetings.   I shall start with documenting the happenings since my last post and share pictures of our November meeting.

The second to the last meeting of 2014 had a great turn out to enjoy the great tobacco finds of our member Martin.  We got to sample four square tobacco,  three nuns,  original Balkan sobrani and many others.  Pictures from the meeting can be seen Here.

Late in November we had the pleasure of meeting Erik  Stoykebye at The Nat Sherman tobacco shop.   He unveiled the latest tobacco in the 4th Generation  tobacco family.  Afterwards some of us went to Circa Table to enjoy more smoking and enjoy a few cocktails. Club president Lou Carbone gave Erik one of our club pins making him an honorary member of the New York Pipe Club.

As I finish writing this long overdue blog entry we had our last meeting of 2014.  Hard to believe that the year is almost finished.  A few of us were talking and we may,  date and location to be determined, invite the members,  those who can attend, to a gathering to celebrate the holidays.

Well I think it's time to close this by wishing everyone a happy Christmas,  Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and holidays.

Monday, March 17, 2014


New York Daily News Reporter Jason Silverstein

Happy St Patrick's Day to all my followers.  Figured it'd be time that I get you caught up on the happenings that have gone on with the pipe club.

I'll start with the NY Pipe show held at the Whyndam Newark International Hotel in Newark NJ on Saturday March 8th, 2014.  The vendor turnout was smaller than it was the last time I attended.  Steve Monjure was unable to attend due to  getting snowed in the Carolinas (hard to believe as we had the first warmest week-end this way).  It was still a great turn out, with Master Blender Russ Oulette showcasing some of his newest tobacco blends.  One of which was a tasty aromatic called Erin Go Bragh.   This is an aromatic blend featuring American and African Virginias with some sweet Cavendish and some Burley tobaccos.  Topping it all off was a hint of an nice peaty Irish Wiskey. Russ even discussed a blend he's working on to pair with the Corn Cob pipes.  Interesting seeing what new stuff the blenders are working on.  Also some fantastic pipe makers were once again on hand displaying both Briar and Meerschaum pipes. I actually purchased two pipes at the show.  One was a yello bole pipe and the other was a Kaywoodie Pipe (both are great smokers).  The only downside was that the organizers decided to raise the entrance fee from $5 to $10 which didn't sit well with attendees.

Afterwards some members of the NY Pipe Club and the Philly Pipe Club drove over to JR Cigars in Whippany NJ where we smoked our newly acquired pipes and tobaccos.  Also we drank and ate as that was something they allowed in the location.  As always a fun time was had by all in attendance.  Here's a link to photos from the evening. Newark Pipe Show

On Tuesday March 11th, 2014 we had the monthly March meeting at Circa Tabac in NYC.  A great turn was on hand, roughly 25 members,  to welcome two special guests to our meeting.  One of the attendees was the gent who was selling Meerschaum pipes that he has carved and shipped from Turkey. The reporter, Jason Silverstein, and his photographer from the New York Daily News.  The Meerschaum pipe seller showed up about 7pm and stayed for a number of hour.  He was able to sell a few of his pipes to members who were unable to attend the pipe show in Newark.  The reporter came by the meeting around 9:10pm or so and did a lengthy interview with our president Lou Carbone and some of the members who were in attendance.  He was to meet with Lou the following afternoon at Nat Sherman tobacco shop to discuss the pipe club blends.  Again a great time was held by all in attendance.  Here are some of the pictures from the wonderful event. March 2014 Meeting

Well folks that's a lot to put in your collective pipes and smoke, so go ahead and, as always, check out our website and Facebook page for more pictures of these wonderful events.  See you at our next meeting which will be on April 8th, 2014. Hopefully by then we'll be moving on to the warmer weather.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Lou, Hank and guys at JR's Whippany NJ

Howdy all,  just a quick post to let you folks know what's happened and will be happening with the NY Pipe Club.  On Saturday we went  to The Whyndam Newark Airport International Hotel for the annual NY Pipe show.  We met a nice gent from PA who sells some of the most beautiful meerschaum pipes I have ever seen.  Since he's not that far away we invited him to join us at our upcoming meeting to be held tomorrow @ Circa Tabac.  He will be showing and have for sale some of his fine pipes.

Also, as an added bonus, a freelance reporter and pipe smoker from the NY Daily News is coming to our meeting with a photographer to take pictures and write a feature article on the club and the hobby in general. He is doing this since there's been a upswing in the usage of the new E Cigarettes as well as the fact that states are legalizing marijuana for medical use.  He is also going to talk to Lou, in depth, about our four pipe club blends.  Should be a fun article.

If you see this post in time please join us for a truly spectacular evening tomorrow, Tuesday March 11th, 2014.

I will have a full review of the Newark pipe show plus the happenings at our March meeting.  Happy smokes to all. As always smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The front entrance to Nat Sherman's Tobacco & Pipe Shop on E 42nd Street.

Howdy folks and a Happy belated New Year.  How time's flown since I last posted anything new.  Well this month, February, has a few things worth talking about.  We've gone thru 2 monthly pipe club meetings plus celebrated International Pipe Smoking Day.

We had our January and February meetings at Circa Tabac in Tribecca.  As always the atmosphere was inviting and the people friendly as ever.

This past Thursday February 20th,  was the official International Pipe Smoking Day.  To celebrate I went to see the Erik Stokkebye pipe event where he was on hand selling his 4th generation tobaccos, the revived Comoy pipe line as well as a few freehand Danish Pipes.  A great time was had and I was able to sample two Virginia blends plus an English blend from his 4th Generation tobacco collection.  Each blend  carries a year instead of a name which Eric explained was to celebrate the birth year of the gentlemen in the Stokkebye clan.

The New York Pipe Club, as always, celebrated International Pipe Smoking Day on Saturday February 22nd.  This year we were invited to celebrate the day at Nat Sherman's Cigar / Pipe Shop located on E 42nd Street.  Newly hired pipe and tobacco aficionado  Chris McGrath invited the pipe club to celebrate the day at his exclusive smoking lounge.  He even blended a special English Blend, named 702 Dragoon, for the occasion. He has also agreed to, if requested, blend tobaccos based on NY Pipe Club member requests.  As at past International Pipe Smoking Days the host, this year Nat Sherman, offered discounts on pipes, tobacco and related products which a few of the members took advantage of.  We were at Nat Sherman's from 3pm - 7pm and a good time was had by all in attendance.  Afterwards a few of us went over to Merchant's Cigar Lounge where we smoked a few more bowls and had some food and drinks. Pictures were taken by your's truly as well as by Club President Lou Carbone.  My pictures can be seen here, IPSD,  and Lou's can be seen on the club's Facebook page.

Well folks, as always will be keeping my ear to the pipe ash to see if anything develops.  See you at the New York Pipe Show, our next event taking place at the Wyndham Newark International Hotel on March 8th, 2014.  Those interested can join us afterwards at JR Tobacco Shop and Lounge in Whippany NJ where we'll smoke our pipes and enjoy some great food and drink.  Our next Pipe Club meeting is scheduled for March 11th, 2014 @ Circa Tabac in Tribecca starting @ 6:00pm - onward.

Till next time happy smoking to all.  I will make my way homeward by enjoying a bowl of the 702 Dragoon from Nat Sherman Tobacco and Cigar Shop.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Brother Allan enjoying one of many bowls at the October Pipe Club meeting

Wow, it's been a while since I last posted any updates.  Hard to believe we've gone thru Spring,Summer and now we're into the Fall Season.  As I sit here and get this started I reflect on all the events that have taken place since the last post.  We had our annual Pipe Club picnic, at Hank Saatchi's house for the second year. (thanks to Brother Hank for volunteering to host it again).  We've had meetings in June, July, August, September and earlier this month (October).  This blogger also celebrated a milestone birthday event, the big 50, this past September.

But I digress,we also, a first for the club, had an impromptu gathering at a place called Art:Side NYC back on September 6th, 2013.  The weather was picture perfect for this event where we were on, as far west as you can go without leaving NYC, the west side by the NY Waterway Ferry building.  This is a nice venue run by a husband and wife team.  They serve food and cocktails, and most importantly they allow smoking in an outdoor venue (a first for NYC).  We had a pretty decent turn out to enjoy the sunny evening and most of all being able to partake of the briar.

The picnic at Hank's house in East Brunswick NJ was even more successful than the last one.  We had the picnic this year on July 13th, 2013.  Weather cooperated and a grand time was had by this blogger and the rest of the Pipe club.  Hank was a gracious host providing us with great fare.  We had burgers, hot dogs and other great fare including mouth watering steaks.  It was a great turn out and members who haven't been at this event were able to attend including Brother Dominic.  This was the fourth Pipe Club picnic for this blogger and am already looking forward to next year's picnic.

Meetings, meetings and more meetings.  We've had meetings from June thru October 2013 held at Circa Tabac in Soho (one of the few venues where eating, drinking and smoking is still allowed).  The October meeting had a great turn out of people and as always a great time was had by all in attendance. Here's a few pictures for those unable to attend the October meeting.

Mustn't forget another annual event that took place on the Friday before the Pipe Club picnic.  Steve Monjoure had his Rinaldo, Brebbia and Ardor trunk show at Barclay Rex Tobacco shop on W 42nd Street here in NYC.  We tried to convince Steve to stay in town an extra day and attend the Pipe club picnic.  He declined stating that it was not in the cards but promised to add it to the schedule for 2014.  Would love to have Steve attend the NYPC annual summer BBQ (fingers crossed and a reminder will go out to Steve from this blogger so he adds it to his NYC schedule).

Updates, our Pipe Club blends are selling well.  Pipes and Cigars was sold to Cigar International.  That is a win for the NYC folks as we no longer have to pay the draconian tax on the purchase of our tobacco blends.  Brother Z is on the road to recovery, albeit slow.  He is constantly in the thoughts and prayers of the Pipe Club and we hope to have him back with us enjoying a bowl or two.

Well I will sign off now and return to the real world outside of this blog to see if I can make a few bucks.  Until the next meeting or event (which ever comes first).  Keeping my ear to the briar as always.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Latest Happenings in the Pipe and Cigar World

The Pipe Club celebrating International Pipe Smoking Day at De La Concha Tobacconist.

Howdy folks,  It's hard to believe that Fall came and went and so did Winter and we're finally enjoying, albeit a tad late, Spring weather.  For those who follow this blog you've noticed that I've been absent the past few months.  Well I decided to rectify that and bring you up to speed with all the happenings in the pipe and cigar world.

The NY Pipe Club introduced, to much success, the four signature club blends at the Chicago show earlier in  May of 2012.  They were well received and we've had positive reviews from the pipe smoking community on them.  A pat on the back goes to Bill Roberts and Dan Silverstone for their work on the verbiage and tin art that adorns our blends.

Meetings and more meetings.  Since the last post we've had meetings in November, December, January, February, March, April and this past Tuesday May 14th, 2013. A wonderful time was had by all and plenty of pictures were taken.  Also on December 8th, 2012 (solemn day for this blogger, was my late mom's birthday and also the date that singer John Lennon was killed)  we attended the Kaywoodie Pipe event in Peekskill NY at the Kaywoodie Pipe factory.  This was the first time I had the pleasure of attending this event and took part in the sanctioned slow smoking contest.  I surprised myself by finishing in the top 20.  Not bad for someone's first time.  It was a fun event and I am already looking forward to attending this event   this year.  Lots of food and drink to be had and there were a few vendors, Steve Monjure being one of them.  For those not familiar with the slow smoking contest here's how it works.  Every participant is given a pipe, all the same shape, 3ozs pipe tobacco (this year was the John Cotton throw down Winner) 2 matches and a wooden dowel to be used as the tamper.  We're then given 5 minutes to pack our pipes then the fun begins.  Everyone then, using one of the matches, lights their pipe and the smoking commences.  There are monitors and judges floating thru the room to ensure that all a playing by the rules. Once your pipe has gone out you raise your hand and the judges record your name and the time that you went out.  The winner this year went well over an hour.  He got to move on to the national slow smoking contest held at the Chicago show. As always a fun time was had by all.

As soon as Kaywoodie was still fresh in everyone's mind we had our last meeting of 2012, and our second meeting at Circa Tabac, on Tuesday December 11th, 2012.  We're slowly settling into our new home and hopefully we're here to stay.

2013 finally arrived and we had our first meeting of the new year at Circa Tabac  We learnt that one of our members Z was dealing with some severe health issues.  We raised many a bowl in his honor.  Wishing him a speedy recovery. Also at this meeting we had a number of new members including a few women who've taken to the hobby (great to see that their are women pipe smokers).

Meetings continued at Circa Tabac in February. We also celebrated International Pipe Smoking Day at De La Concha Cigar Shop in NYC on Saturday February 23rd, 2013 and we then went to Merchant's where we once again hosted Peder Jeppesen who brought more of his wonderful pipes to show and also sell to those who were interested.  I also stopped by Midtown Cigar on the official day of International Pipe Smoking Day to raise a bowl ion the official day and was entered their raffle to win a pipe and 6ozs of pipe tobacco.  Needless to say I was the winner of a nice Savinelli  pipe, a tobacco pouch and 6ozs of their bulk tobaccos.  March and April (missed that one as I was in Jamaica celebrating my grandmother's 101st birthday).  I was able to attend the May meeting which happened this past Tuesday May 14th, 2013.  A fun time was had and we announced the date for our annual summer picnic.  This year, as it was last year, it'll be at Hank Saatchi's place in NJ on Saturday July 13th, 2013. Also tried the new La Flor Dominicana cigar with the Claro wrapper (for those not familiar with this cigar the wrapper that goes on this cigar is green in color).  I will post a review of this cigar at a later date.

A lot to digest, but as they say a picture is worth a thousand words you can check out all the pictures from the past meetings and events on the New York Pipe Club website.

This blogger is stepping back into the real world with the sounds of Patsy Cline singing Crazy and looking forward to that first bowl of the day. Not sure if it'll be a Virginia blend or an English blend. I should close by saying I'll keep an ear to the pipe and cigar ash to see if anything new springs up.  Keep on smoking those pipes.