To refresh the purpose for Smoke and Minds and assess anew for myself the joy that is its motor; to refresh the memory of my loyal readers and to share with those who have just found my thoughts and photography in the last few weeks or couple of months, please, allow me a few lines on who I am and why I am writing here.
As a subject, I have been exposed to photography since my childhood and since the mid-1980’s have owned at least one camera at the time. In 2011, after twenty-five years living in different parts of Europe, I returned to New York and began using an iPhone 3s. At the same time, I was doing much more serious cigar smoking and visually documenting it was – of course – a must. In a matter of weeks I had thousands of pictures of ladies and gentlemen smoking pipes and cigars, in smoke lounges and outdoors. At the same time, I was noticing a strong thread between each smoke: conversations.
It is my deep conviction that the smoke lounge of our days has become the coffee house of yesteryear. It is in smoke lounges where men and women gather to be in good company and concentrate with delight on one of the most important, interesting and crucial organs of the human body – the mouth. This small cavity is crucial for our nutrition and for our sensual joy, as much as it is imperative for our ability and necessity of expressing our thoughts. Therefore, after a few days playing with the Idea of beginning a blog dedicated to the art and culture of fine-smoking, considering the social and intellectual center that smoke lounges offer, Smoke and Minds became the obvious working title, and in May 2013 I began posting.
Thoughts, reviews and criticism on cigar and pipe smoking are intended to help towards more appreciation for this ancient culture, provide wider knowledge and assist in elevating and deepening pleasure for the individual ingestion in a social structure.