Boston has a long history of civic disobedience; the Boston Tea Party and Abolitionism being two examples. Boston also has a history for crushing its inhabitants’ rights: the second-class status of the Irish around 1900 and a major crackdown on entertainment deemed uncouth during the mid-twentieth century.
Right now Boston is experiencing a revival of both the rebel and the authoritarian. On the rebel side you have cigar bar owners protesting and writing letters to their mayor, Thomas Menino, pleading with him not to outlaw their businesses. Boston already has outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants and now the have their sights set on outlawing smoking in cigar bars.
On the authoritarian side is the city’s Boston Public Health Commission. They have already preliminarily voted to ban smoking in cigar bars and all they have to do is officially pass the law tomorrow.
But don’t worry, Mayor Menino has said that he might intervene:
“I understand they’ve been there for a while and I want to work with the cigar bars,” Menino told The Boston Globe in an interview. “I cannot during these tough economic times prevent them from doing business.”
Great, so the only thing saving the cigar bars is the fact that we’re in a recession. All I’ve got to say is that if you like going to cigar bars in Boston you should go as much as you can right now because sooner or later – probably sooner – you won’t have the option.