Good news for fans of looking really, really cool in city parks (sorry, rollerbladers): it's almost impossible to get a ticket under the newly passed smoking ban. The Daily News sent smoking staffers to the High Line and Coney Island to see how lax the enforcement was, and lets just say that you're more likely to get a ticket for bike-riding-with-tote-bag than you are from getting your daily doses of formaldehyde.
On the High Line, it took a photographer "a couple of hours" to even run into a Parks Department employee to issue a citation. "Standing 4 feet away, the officer refused to even look at the shutterbug, who was smoking like a chimney as he passed." In fairness to the Parks Employee, maybe he just didn't want to stare death in the face? After a warning, he finally gave her a $50 ticket. Our publisher totally could have enjoyed a butt taking these illicit photos!
Down in Coney Island, the smoker received a friendly heads-up from an NYPD officer the second he lit his American Spirit: "Be careful. Parks Department will give you a ticket." But alas, after a few Parks Department employees "zoomed by on four-wheelers" and "made eye contact," they still declined to cite the smoker. But with only 400 officers in charge of 117 parks and 14 miles of beaches, we're OK with the fact that the Parks Department has better things to do than write tickets for smoking.