This is Made By Hand: The Cigar Shop

A cementer of friendships

Cigar smokers were shunned by many even before the pervasive smoking ban was instituted. Though probably good for the common health, cigar aficionados still weep over the loss. Some shops still keep the candle stogie burning — and then there is the rare shop that rolls its own odiferous sticks. Such is the case with NYC’s own Martinez Cigars, a small shop that’s been in the business since 1974. Started by Dominican Republic immigrant Don Antonio Martinez and now run by his son Jesus, Martinez Cigars not only knows how to impart some mighty fine looking cigars, they help perpetuate the cigar culture that breaks down barriers and cements friendships among men who might not ordinarily know each other outside of smoke rings. Directed and produced by Keith “keef” Ehrlich, the video does an excellent job showcasing the art of cigar rolling (note the difficult creation of a figurado cigar with the tapered end), as well as revealing the community the shop fosters.

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