A hole in the bar where the cigarette machine stood



But like so many so-called low-tech machines, this one has never failed. “Everything is mechanical,” McAleese said. “It doesn’t break.” Seeing it, smokers of a certain age ?? and the sane dropouts ?? would well remember the satisfying resistance of that pulled lever, as if the machine was making you work a little for the reward to come. This beautiful strong ching-chang. The machine’s only concession to modernity is the slot for the $ 1 and $ 5 bills, saving the smoker from having to lug around 44 quarters.

J. Mac’s machine predates its owner, a former engineer for the City Council of Education who came to it in an unusual way.

Credit…Benjamin Norman for the New York Times

“I just came here one evening to buy a drink,” he said.

The bar owner was complaining so much, Mr McAleese recalls: “I said, ‘How much do you want for this?’ It was an impulse buy. ”

His girlfriend was not happy. “Your little boys club where you hang out with your buddies,” she called out to him. But almost nine years later, business is going well most of the time; it was in full swing on July 4th, with the crowds for the fireworks over the Hudson.

Surprisingly, the number of machines could soon increase. Even as the old models fade away, their 21st century offspring is coming. Several bars and nightclubs are equipped with new, modern cigarette machines. These are shiny, electric, boxy things that look like the ones that spit out Cheez-Its in office break rooms. No rods, no levers ?? and not cheap, at $ 14.25 a pack. Karma, an East Village bar where smoking is allowed, had one last month, and Trash Bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, had one last week.

The state’s Department of Taxation and Finance said it distributed 1,238 stickers required for cigarette machines in 2008, the most recent year for which information was available. But the location of the machines was not available, the department said.


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