At night, on certain street corners in Bay Ridge, the air grows redolent with a sweet, fruity smell.
Shisha, the herbal blend ingested through a water pipe, or hookah, has grown increasingly popular across New York. In this south Brooklyn neighborhood, where thousands of immigrants from the Middle East have made their home since the 1990s, hookah bars have proliferated, standing alongside halal markets and shawarma shops, greengrocers and Greek bakeries, Irish bars and pizza places.
That sweet scent may soon disappear from the streets. After years of debate, a bill which will regulate shisha in ways similar to tobacco, passed the New York City Council on September 27, by a vote of 37-5.