leisure 02.25.09

Forbidden Pleasures

MUG does not endorse, approve of, or recommend use of any of the following, many of which are restricted or prohibited by U.S. law.*

Yes, absinthe in now back in the U.S., provided it is thujone-free (below 10 parts per million). Thujone has been considered the extra kick associated with absinthe, which the Wormwood Society debunks. If anything, it's the combo of herbs that gives you a bit of clarity to go with your alcoholic fug. The holy grail for absinthe drinkers is Pernod Fils absinthe produced before 1915, which, if it can be found, would sell for $5,000 or more. In 1918, Pernod opened a different distillery in Spain. Bottles of the "green fairy" from that era are in the $2,000 range. Be careful: fakes abound.

Lubbock can't get right by Lahib Jaddo. The artist continues to face censorship by the city for her work, including a painting of a mother nursing an infant.

Hundreds of books are 'challenged' or banned by communities every year. One of the most challenged, according to The American Library Association is And Tango Makes Three, the story of Central Park Zoo's Roy and Silo, two male penguins who became a devoted couple. Banned Books Week (celebrating the freedom to read) this year is September 26 – October 3. The top 10 challenged books is below.

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Safe to assume that in the coming years, travel restrictions to Cuba will be eased. Until then, bone up at Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Travel Forum. One of the more common ways to get to Cuba these days is to fly Mexicana from Cancun to Havana. Mexicana's rules (and customer service) are hazy at best. Be persistent (and prepared to pay with AmEx only, not issued by an American bank).

New York doesn't allow retail shipment of fireworks, which seems pretty sensible. Some states do. To get your stash, you can hunt around Chinatown or have a look at the Phantom Fireworks website for their retail locations. Closest (about 60 miles) is their Delaware Water Gap location in Pennsylvania.

If you don't feel comfortable wearing a fur coat inherited (or purchased), you could always give it back to the animals. Coats for Cubs, a Humane Society program, uses furs to "warm and comfort orphaned and injured wildlife." Definitely some good karma there.

Mile High Club
We don't need to tell you how to become a member of the Mile High Club. However, the "official" website of same asks, 'Interested in booking a Mile High flight?' There's a link to a company that flies out of LaGuardia.

On Irving Place, Galaxy Global Eatery, 15 Irving [15th] 212.777.3631, continues to feature hemp-laced vittles… For pipes, bongs, rolling papers, and seeds, check out Grass City.

Second Acting
Second acting – sneaking into a Broadway theater during intermission to catch the second act – is a time-honored tradition, especially among unemployed theatre folk who don't have the ready funds to pay for a ticket. At some houses, citing security concerns, they've made it harder to do. But some traditions are worth upholding.

There are still a few places around town where you can puff. Among them:
Velvet Cigar Lounge, 80 E. 7th [1st/2nd] 212.533.5582 (cigars only)
Bar and Books (several locations)
Karma, 51 1st Ave. [3rd/4th] 212.677.3160

*Well, that's not strictly true: we might approve of some of these, but we're certainly not going to reveal which ones.

"New York is cocaine, opium, hashish."
– Ambrose Bierce

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