Updated: May 30, 2022
I have fond memories of the smells of New York City. It used to be diesel, urine, and burned pretzels. You can still catch a whiff of that old smell, particularly near a subway entrance.
All I smell now is weed. It seems everyone in New York City is smoking weed. I used to be a little intimidated walking the streets of Manhattan. Everyone was successful with a lot going on, a briefcase, stressed, and in a hurry to get somewhere.
Not anymore. You still see a few dynamos walking at a frenzied pace, but so many more are just high.
Among the movers and shakers, the potheads are easy to spot. They dress like crap and walk with no purpose. It’s nice to know I’m getting more done than four of eight million people in NYC.
Which reminds me of a riddle.
How many New Yorkers does it take to give you directions in the subway?
One real New Yorker.
All the potheads, tourists, and suits are useless. Ask a tough dude in the Bronx or a woman in Harlem where to go, and they set you straight in five seconds. You don’t even have to speak English.
I’ve ridden the NY subway for 35 years and forget the stops every time, and end up in Brooklyn if I turn my head.
I’ve ended up in Brooklyn too many times to remember, including last week. Heading from midtown to Wall Street for a visit to the "Charging Bull" statue on Wall Street. I looked out the window and saw the train passing over the Brooklyn Bridge. Bad news. I’m headed to Brooklyn.
I get off at the first stop, immediately break my own rule, and ask a normal-looking guy on the platform what train I need to take to get back to Manhattan. He had no idea he is even in a subway station.
Remember your rule, Bob? Only ask tough people for directions.
Yep. I turn and head for this guy who looks like Shaquille O’Neal’s angry brother, and he tells me to get on the F train. Ten minutes later, I’m staring the Bull straight in the eye on Wall Street.
From there, it was on to Battery Park, One World Trade Center, Greenwich Village, and eventually Pier 83 and the Circle Line for a three-hour cruise around Manhattan. The ride is spectacular, and the tour guide on the boat is knowledgeable and funny.
He has a ponytail, and I bet he's seen his share of the 80s.
I think he's a pothead.