As mentioned in a previous article, I’ve been spending a good bit of the summer traveling around to our different company locations around the country, monitoring our classes and events. This has also given me the chance to experience a bunch of newly cities around the US that have legalized recently or are in the process of becoming recreational.
In June of this year, I spent a week camping on the floor of our Brooklyn studio, on an air mattress, surrounded by easels and student paintings, and waking up every morning smelling like weed. I was there to see how our new Brooklyn location was doing, check in with the instructors, and make sure everything was up to code and operating as smoothly as possible since we manage many of our bases from afar. It’s really important to us to have instructors who love their jobs and make sure things flow smoothly, people are having lots of fun and getting high, and everything is being done legally. I’ve never been the kind of boss to breathe down anyone’s neck, so I love having instructors who are self-motivated and understand that if you don’t constantly hear from us, you’re doing great, sweetie.
New York is currently legal for medical cannabis, and recently decriminalized cannabis state-wide to make possession of less than two ounces only a citation with a menial fine. New York City has long been a haven for cannabis smokers, and Puff, Pass & Paint in Brooklyn has been thriving. Brooklyn is an incredible part of the city, and every time I visit, I fall more and more in love with the community liveliness, the streets and brownstones, the food and drink, and just the vibe and constant bustle of a city that walks and eats and smokes and does everything brightly and loudly and at all times of the day and night.
There are an incredible amount of things to do in both Brooklyn and Manhattan no matter the amount of time you’re spending in the city. In a week, I felt like I was barely able to cover even the amount of free things the city offers, like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting Battery Park and the 911 Memorial. If it’s hot, the New York Public Library is a cool place, both literally and figuratively, to spend a few hours wandering around. If you’re on a budget, most of the most popular sights in the city have days and times that offer free admission, like free Friday evenings at the MOMA from 4-8pm, free Tuesdays at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, complimentary yoga at Bryant park on Tuesday mornings or Thursday evenings, or riding the Staten Island Ferry. The East River Ferry, which is an easy way to cruise from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back, is $4 on weekdays and $6 on weekends. Central Park is always free, and you can spend an entire day climbing rocks and wandering around the miles and miles of paths. I didn’t tell you this, but there are plenty of isolated spots to grab a quick smoke break away from prying eyes.
On your way out of Central Park, be sure to grab a Nathan’s Hot Dog with the works. If you’re looking for pizza, support the feud between the classics Prince Street Pizza and Made in New York— or don’t pick one, and try a pepperoni slice from both! In Brooklyn, Sea Thai has not only incredible food and refreshing drinks, but a wishing pool with floating lights in the middle of the restaurant and rope swings hanging from the ceiling. In Dumbo, one of Brooklyn’s coolest up and coming neighborhoods in south, Time Out Market New York boasts lots of different restaurants and vendors in the same building, so you can grab a slice, a hot dog, and bao bun and enjoy them all on the rooftop patio overlooking the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. I’m not only a pothead but a cheese-loving Wisconsinite, so one of my favorite stops is Murray’s Cheese Bar in Greenwich Village, which offers a slew of cheese-based favorites, from classic Mac and cheese to their Grand Fondue… I would fly back right now just for an order of their buffalo cheese curds. Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken in the East Village is also an absolute stoner staple.
New York City is one of my favorite places in the entire world, and every time I’m wandering around Brooklyn, I can see myself living there, eating there, drinking there, smoking there, taking my dog on the subway in a little bag. One of my proudest moments this visit was that I didn’t take Uber a single time, and instead was able to figure out public transportation… even when my phone died! With New York’s decriminalization, the state is also expunging a multitude of non-violent drug crimes— as should everywhere that is moving towards legalization— and setting laws in place for delivery services, dispensaries, and consumption venues. If New York isn’t completely legal within the next couple of years, I owe you a joint. Catch ya on the flip side of rec, NYC. 😉