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March 25, 2008

A side effect of the smoking ban

When the smoking ban started Feb. 1, some local bar owners bought big ornate ashtrays like this one.

Since all the smokers are forced to stand on the sidewalk for their fix, these ashtrays are filling up faster than ever.

Bar owners in Fells Point actually have a nickname for them: bum buffets.


Because on Saturday and Sunday mornings, a bunch of homeless people pick through the ashtrays for half-smoked cigarettes.

(Photo by me) 

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Posted by Sam Sessa at 10:25 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bars & Clubs


Most bars in NYC have these ashtrays outside them. Way better than an open urn full of sand.

Homeless people will pick cigarettes out of the gutter and smoke them. I watch them do it alll the time across the street from my house at the bus stop. I'm probably the only one with this opinion, but it's better that they get them out of an ornate ashtray than the gutter.

I guess if the bar owners are concerned with the health and safety of the homeless they could buy the ashtrays rk posted about, or just empty the ashtrays every night.

Mmmm ... adding to the glamour is smoking.

For those of us who live near the city's many bars, another side effect are the large number of loud, drunk smokers outside talking until 2 a.m. every night. At least it is harder to notice the idiots who are outside still screaming into their cellphones.

People, if you don't want to deal with loud drunks, don't move to an area with a large concentration of bars, if you don't want to deal with noise at night, move to the suburbs. The bars were there before you and they will be there after you and you will not make them go away. While a certain amount of self control and responsibility should be exhibited by the patrons, in the end, it is you that have the problem if you complain. Just my two cents.

I'm with Mark Twain. If I lived in a hut in the jungle, I wouldn't have any right to complain about the tigers, that chased me home on a daily basis.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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