A stoner is a relatively easy person to please, and New York City is a gateway drug all its own. You have the capacity to live your life here the way you want to. By that same token, you should always have fun while doing so.
So you’re stoned and unsure what to do with yourself. You find yourself overwhelmed by options. But the city is its own little world unlike anywhere else in the country. Let it be your oyster. I firmly believe that it doesn’t take too much—or cost too much—to have a good time.
Are you, my little stoner buddy, having trouble finding something to do? Don’t worry: You’re in good hands.
1. You have not truly lived until you’ve taken the 7 train into Flushing for the sole purpose of gorging on delicious pork buns, dumplings, garlic chicken wings and even vermicelli. It’s a stoner’s paradise of cheap food. This is not the only reason to go to Flushing, but I daresay it is the only reason to go that will not end with you silently cursing yourself before you fall into a claustrophobic coma while on a desperate search for an air pocket amidst throngs of people toting tiny read umbrellas.
2. You know those colossal boulders and sculpted cliffs which make up the landscape of Central Park? Climb atop them and take in the scenery: You’ll find yourself within the perfect setting for getting blitzed beyond your wildest dreams. I went on a date with a positively gorgeous guy over the summer. We perched ourselves on a boulder which overlooked the pathways and the people who were coming and going. He opened his bag, offered me a joint, and then promptly lit up. We got high in the shadows of trees and looming skyscrapers. There was something wholly serene about it. I urge you to try something simple like this, then proceed to make out with your date like the total pig that you are.
3. There are all sorts of drugs lying around the city and you can have your pick of just about any of them. This is a fact that does not need to be glossed over. But there isn’t much fun in getting yourself into entirely uncompromising positions (unless getting collared by the fuzz is your thing). Few things can rival a relaxing smoke before a trip to Five Guys (the closest I’ll get to five guys in my life), followed by a good old fashioned rave or warehouse party. Getting your face melted off (please don’t take this literally) is simple, efficient and economic. The experience wins extra points if the venue is suitably atmospheric (I’ve partied in places which rivaled the squalor of the house at the end of The Blair Witch Project) and if the nearest Starbucks can only be accessed via carpool.
4. Hitting up a film festival or retrospective for a trippy movie can be an almost religious experience when you’re stoned. The Museum of the Moving Image is screening Jim Henson’s Labyrinth to commemorate David Bowie at the end of January. Tickets have unfortunately sold out as of this writing, but this is merely one example of the sorts of fun you could be having. Ask anyone who has seen the film and they’ll tell you that it’s a charmingly weird experience. Ziggy Stardust would have wanted those people to be stoned and something tells me those people want to be stoned for Ziggy Stardust.
5. Speaking of films: Have you ever considered getting high as a kite and attending a screening of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room? Not that the option is entirely necessary (the film is delightfully absurd as it is) but if you’ve ever expressed the desire to laugh until you piss yourself in public, then this might be the experience you’ve been waiting for. The Sunshine Cinema on East Houston holds regular screenings. Carry on, my wayward blunt.
6. I encourage you to have a picnic by the seashore. I had the pleasure of tagging along to a picnic at Brighton Beach over the summer. We watched the sun go down and stuffed ourselves with potato salad, tea and scones. At one point, we decided it was a good idea to attempt to summon the beach gods in some weird dancing ritual that we made up for the spot. Beach patrol came by and told us we looked like we were having too much fun (and it was getting late anyway, so it would be best for us to get moving). I’m pretty sure we looked like Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie, minus the peyote. Ah, memories!
7. Bodegas, late night BLTs and 24 hour diners are your best friends. Maintain a good relationship with them. There’s also something wildly pleasurable about taking forever to pick a chocolate bar to purchase while at your local gas station after three in the morning. That Snickers bar will taste even sweeter once you escape the hazy cloud of your indecision intact.
8. Our history books fail to entertain the possibility that Manhattan was purchased for the sole purpose of constructing suitable vantage points for the casual observer. New York was made for people watching. I don’t need to tell you this twice.
9. But people watching can only take you so far! Try speaking with strangers! You are in New York, a haven of different cultures and personalities. Consider that you’re all united by the same predicament: That you pay utterly outrageous and soul crushing rent for the “privilege” of living in shoeboxes. The depth of the conversations you have will just bowl you over. The stories you’ll find yourself telling, raw and unfiltered, will feel like a weight off your chest.
10. Doesn’t how invested you are in the rat race startle you? Sure, New York is a constant hustle. I know: I’ve lived here my entire life. But take a moment to stop and think about this. Better yet, take a moment to stop and smell the roses, if not the festering pile of garbage outside your overpriced walkup. Allow the world to slow down. You should do this anyway, because self-care is important. It can be very easy to lose yourself amidst all the hustle and bustle.
Now off with you, my stoner friends. It’s a jungle out there.