Since I have nothing particularly exciting to report about my most recent adventure in New York, I will tell you a story about the first time I went there.
My friend Katie and I were on a road trip--Labor Day Weekend, 1997. We started in Evanston, IL, and made our way to the Eastern seaboard. We left on a Saturday, after I got off work at The Family Institute.
We smoked a lot of cigarettes on our drive. It helped to keep us awake, and from going stir crazy. I'm sure it made us stink really badly as well. I remember that we had tried to make mixtapes for the drive. Neither of us fully realized the amount of music necessary to fill the time spent driving from:
- Chicago, IL to Ashtabula, OH
- Ashtabula, OH to Syracuse, NY
- Syracuse, NY to NYC
- NYC to New Haven, CT
- New Haven, CT to Harrisburg, PA
- Harrisburg, PA to Chicago, IL
I think there may have been a trip from New Haven back to NYC that I'm missing, but this was 6 years ago, gimme a break. Needless to say, we listened to many of our mixtapes many times. They have been sufficiently burned and erased from our memories now. Though I do remember that there was a Cherry Poppin' Daddies song called Don Quixote on the tape. We liked that tune.
This was during college, and as college students are wont to do, we smoked some illegal substances out of apparatus that look very similar to cigarettes. I think there was a hookah involved at some point as well.
Now, New York City being the cosmopolitan city that it is, Katie and I figured we should bring some sophisticated, well-cultivated bud home to the land of Chicago swag. Let me tell you, Chicago swag is the stinkiest, harshest, yuckiest crap I have ever tried.
Since New York is so large and densely populated, getting items delivered to one's house is a common practice. I remember being surprised to see that Jamie and Paul got their dry cleaning picked up and delivered on an episode of Mad About You. (Considering that I can't be bothered to take my dry cleaning in more than once a year, I can definitely see the benefit in a pick-up and delivery service for this.) Not only can you have food, clothing and videos delivered, but delivery is the best way to get good weed.
There's obviously no ad in the yellow pages that screams "Finest Quality Weed, Delivered Right to Your Door!" Instead, there is a secret network of weed merchants. They don't look like the scruffy, dredded-out, hemp-wearing, stoned people that latch themselves onto benefit shows and protests to advocate marijuana legalization. Mostly, they look like college students. Probably because many of them are. To gain access to this covert weed-delivery force, one must belong to a "list." This is a set of people who have been screened for discretion and loyalty. To obtain weed delivery, one calls a pager, and leaves a callback number. If the number you leave isn't on the "list," no weed for you. Five minutes later, someone returns the call, asking "Did you call the ______List?" I don't recall if there's a password or not. It would be a nice touch, though.
At some point during a given time frame, a weed list representative arrives at the door with a backpack. I'd never seen a backpack stuffed with weed before this. It was quite the sight to behold. Several medium-sized tupperware containers with baggies of different types of weed were presented. A discussion ensued. Questions like "Mellow or intense?" and "Stinky or sweet?" were asked and answered. In the end, weed-boy left us with something called "Blueberry." I think it was decent, but hey, it's been six years!