Hand Rolled

West 29th Street & 7th

West 29th Street & 7th

I stop in as much for ambiance as for a bandido.

I get off the train in the underbelly of Madison Square Garden and get belched on to the street level, riding the wave of humanity before me.

No matter the weather, I walk the manmade caverns of New York City. I head down 7th Ave, just a few blocks. Cross the street, and a bout 75 yards in, I see the neon sign – Handrolled Cigars – burning. Always burning.

I’ll pop in, look around at the old paintings on the wall. At the shelf with an old 1940’s era baseball glove, a few baseballs. New York Yankee memorabilia.

Samba music is playing.

There’s usually between one and three men sitting at the tables, big elephant ears of tobacco leaves in their hands.

No one looks up, they just go about their business.

The younger guy in a Martinez baseball cap will complete the order. Always cuts them, if asked. Always gives a box of stick matches to go with the purchase.

There may be an older gentleman sitting in a chair, in the middle of a big, fat stick of morning vice. I’ll nod a hello, he’ll do so back.

I go for the atmosphere as much as the bandido.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All rights Reserved 2013

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