Our man gets high on some shisha at a hookah bar

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Some Bay Ridge residents allege that hookah bars are smoky dens where youth is corrupted and noxious smoke leaks out into the street, causing a nuisance to the community. But after trying a hookah bar out myself — and surfacing from the smoke unscathed, I doubt the legitimacy of these steamy charges.

At Your House café and hookah bar on Fourth Avenue, $8 buys you your choice from a myriad flavors of shisha, or flavored tobacco, including strawberry, mint, apple, pineapple and watermelon. Your House does its best to create a homey vibe for its patrons — who included only two heavy-set “regulars” who were watching an Arab soap opera and smoking when I entered.

Prepared to abuse my lungs in the name of journalism, I chose apple from the list of flavors and took a seat. Minutes later, a tall man came over and placed a hookah contraption on the ground before me. It’s basically a large water pipe, with the flavored tobacco located in a bowl in the middle. When heated with hot charcoal, and sucked through a plastic tube, the tobacco steam imparts a sweet, fruity taste.

As the patrons shot me suspicious looks, I felt slightly nervous. Perhaps they had the wild notion that a young, clearly non-Middle Eastern guy sitting by himself, with an open notebook, smoking copious amounts in the early afternoon might be dangerous. But once I had been smoking for a few minutes, any anxiety I had faded away in a pleasant haze. The manager maintained that what I was smoking was “nicotine-free,” but I did feel a temporary buzz.

As I did my best Gandalf impression, wafting smoke rings in the air, I began to feel relaxed, as the apple flavor caressed my mouth and nose. The water pipe filtered out the harsh tobacco-like taste, allowing me to experience solely the fruity sweetness.

I may not have gotten “stoned,” but I did get a little bit high at work. And I didn’t feel corrupted at all.

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John from East Williamsburg says:

Didn't you notice that everyone else's hookah was on the floor, not on the table.

I guess you just needed a picture that screamed "I'm smoking a hookah!"

PS: No one touched you inappropriately while you were there, did they?
May 25, 2010, 1:22 pm

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