Following Grub Street’s news that the Department of Health has been conducting more late-night smoking raids on clubs like the Beatrice and Socialista, the Post discovers that in the past year, “6.4 percent of city-inspected locales [were] hit with fines, nearly double the 3.5 percent in fiscal year 2007.” Says the paper, “The number of violations issued to smoking speakeasies increased to 917 in fiscal year 2008 from 694 in fiscal 2007. The increase came despite a precipitous 47 percent drop in the number of city smoking inspections, which went from a high of 26,765 in fiscal 2004, to 20,006 in fiscal 2007, to just 14,399 last fiscal year.” The hypothesis here: People may be brazenly blazing due to the fact that the NYPD is no longer targeting petty crime as much. We’ll see if the new wave of club raids changes that — Down by the Hipster has pointed out that things are looking decidedly less hazy at the Bea.
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