Ten years ago, when Bloomberg's smoking ban
went into effect, many bars flouted the law: at midnight, or 2am, or 4am, the bartender would pull out a stack of hidden-away ashtrays and space them along the bar like votive candles. That only lasted a few months, though—agents started enforcing the law more seriously, and most bars resigned themselves to the fact that they had no choice but to obey. The last time I was in a Brooklyn bar that let people smoke after hours (a few months ago), it was the first time I'd seen it in many years, and it was something of a shock. Apparently I've been hanging out in the wrong places—there are spots throughout Brooklyn that have continued to face fines for allowing patrons to smoke. The Daily News recently published a list
of the top offenders.