NYC Bans Smoking in Parks: Bloomberg’s Inexplicable Move
Bloomberg Bans Smoking, Angers Many in NYC
In a triumph for nanny states everywhere, New York City banned smoking in all public parks this morning. Undoubtedly New Yorkers in every borough are asking themselves, “My god, didn’t we do this sooner?!?” From this day forward we can happily exclaim: gone are the sad days of yore when a family trip to Prospect Park was ruined by villainous smokers, following the children to the zoo to blow smoke in their face. No longer will the rotten few be able to tarnish the sparkling cleanliness of the city with their disgusting habit. But more importantly I’d like to echo the sentiment of our dear leader….uh mayor rather, in saying this is another important step in breaking the spirit of these drug addicts masquerading as productive human beings.
I know that I for one am breathing a sigh of relief. Last spring I was having a wonderful day in central park with my girlfriend Rachel. We were hanging out in sheep’s meadow, playing cards, reading, throwing around the frisbee, having a great time. But then disaster struck. I had just thrown the disc, an absolute laser of a toss I can assure you, about 10 feet in front of her . Rachel sprinted to make the catch. She never knew what hit her. Two dirty old men, coughing from a lifetime of mistreating their bodies, emerged from behind a tree. I realized with horror one of them was puffing on a camel, and before I could warn her, my girlfriend ran straight into the cloud of smoke. We don’t publicly discuss what happened next, but let’s just say she’ll never play frisbee again.
I’d continue but there’s nothing worse than tedious sarcasm, and I think you get the point. Unlike my colleague Mr. Willet, who still smokes and ranted about the ban earlier today, I don’t smoke anymore. However I did rock the American Spirit blues off and on for 6 years until a couple months ago. I’ve previously quit (repeatedly) for over a year only to start again, and by the time I stopped most recently, I was up to a pack a day. Quitting this last time is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and seeing other people smoking makes not starting again so much harder.
Point being, I’d prefer not to have to watch people lighting up in the park. It actually does put a bit of a damper on my afternoon because it reminds me of how much I miss having a cigarette while I’m sunbathing. Still, fortunately in this country (yes, even New York City) not liking something doesn’t count as a valid reason to ban it. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’m less than fond of tourists slamming into me in midtown, people who yap on their phone in the subway, and the smell of Chinatown fish markets in July.
But I didn’t move from the pristine Seattle suburbs to lower Manhattan because I was seeking tranquility, quiet, or clean air. New York is a filthy, smelly, loud, brash, and all-around-tough place to live. As someone who’s lost a parent to second-hand smoke, I’m an unabashed zealot about indoor smoking bans. However, last time I checked, the long meadow of Prospect Park isn’t indoors, and giant open fields aren’t generally conducive to smoke accumulation. I hate that cigarettes exist at all more than I can put into words, but forcing smokers out of parks isn’t going to save anyone. It’s just going to entrench the already embattled minority even more.
So why don’t you just piss off, Bloomberg and company.
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