S’mores and the City: Rise of the Illegal Fire Pit

Mrs Klemperer then made a fire pit for her boyfriend, Michael Ballou, 69, a multimedia artist living in Williamsburg. Although their neighborhoods are not zoned for fire pits, both of their backyards are very spacious, they said, meeting all of the requirements detailed in the new regulation.

“My yard is a 2,500 square foot lot, and I have a 500 square foot concrete slab where I put the fire pit,” Ms. Klemperer said. “My place is very safe.”

Megan Weisenberger invites friends to her fire pit every few weeks. “I feel that people talk more around the fire,” she said. She also finds it a useful tool for meeting neighbors, almost like a winter version of stooping.

Her fire pit is basically a hole in the ground with bricks around it, so it’s very enclosed and she never leaves it unaccompanied, she said.

“With any fire, you have to be there, you can’t walk away,” emphasized Captain Kozo. “And I mean not even for a moment.”

Many fire pit owners have become resourceful when it comes to supplies. Ms. Klemperer, an artist, has a pickup truck that she drives around looking for wood. “I don’t know what National Grid did the day before, but they dug the road, and they left a lot of wood behind,” she said. “Once you start looking for wood, you can really find it everywhere.”

Others, they said, buy wood at local bodegas and use old pizza delivery boxes as sparks. As for Ms. Weisenberger: “This year I discovered that you can make your own firewood.” S’mores and the City: Rise of the Illegal Fire Pit

Fry Electronics Team

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