Crime Scene is the name of my Enduro — a bike at home in marshlands, pastures, dirt roads, and super-colliders. It totes groceries, cigars, and moi. Crime Scene is also the secret name for a very special place in my neighborhood.

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Heights Cigar Lounge is a place to sit, smoke, and hear the opinions of others no matter how arresting or bogus those opinions may be. In the end we all have a good laugh, then out come the cards, chess sets, and backgammon. There’s a lot of independence in the air — most of us are consultants who do not have a corporate office in which to hide. There’s something about having no place to hide that enables people to share thoughts openly knowing the feedback will be instant, raw, authentic, and subject to change. College students cutting class, real estate developers, insurance sales people, parole officers, criminal defense attorneys, chess hustlers, card sharks, backgammon aficionados, connoisseurs of bourbon, ufologists, old men who have something to say, and others who don’t, are just some of the characters you can meet on any given afternoon. The doors open at 10am for a morning smoke and ritual viewing of The Price is Right. A small group might spontaneously form and head-out for an afternoon Astros game. Harry arrives with his Keys to transport us to another place in time — he played in the Benny Goodman Orchestra. On occasion, we have a cigar roller to our paradiso. People are naturally fascinated by cigar-rolling. You could book one into a ladies garden party and they would crowd around with high hopes of getting a turn on the table. There’s something about cigars and aromatic smoke that drive out inhibition, tame passions, and make people think different. It sounds crazy but it’s true. There’s sweetness in this place — our own little crime scene. But the real crime is that everyone doesn’t have a place like this to go and get their mind right. Long may it run.

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On 19th St in The Heights

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