Allan: I met no less than three "Allan's" at the meeting last night but believe you would be the gentleman formerly from San Francisco? If so, it was a pleasure to chat and smoke with you.
This trip was a bit of an adventure and I'm always a nervous NYC traveler. (the tallest building in my town is the 3 story Nursing home....) Making the meeting last night was happenstance and a last minute decision. Previously, I've ridden the Amtrak into the city ($10 ticket, $25 parking) and then grabbed the subway to Soho. I was staying again in NJ, and the NJ Transit bus picks up right in front of my hotel. So, for $5 each way, I gave that a shot which worked great getting into the city. Coming back at 10 PM, I had to find my bus from the Port Authority, which makes navigating around my airport, Baltimore-Washington International, a walk in the park. When I finally found the level to catch my bus, I hadn't purchased a ticket, which is required leaving the city (paid the drive on the way in). I wait for another bus and we were in NJ in 10 minutes. I watched the driver zip past my pick-up spot and my hotel faded from sight. I asked the girl behind me if the drive would circle back across the divided highway to my drop-off spot. Nope, you have to signal for him to stop, so she did a good four blocks thru an industrial area. He drops me off at dark intersection and I literally sprint those four blocks with my Smokin Holsters bag filled with pipes (and a new Comoys!) clutched tightly. Half a block from the hotel, I encounter two hooded gentleman walking my way. Thankfully, neither looks up at me, but my heart is in my throat (East Rutherford, NJ, not exactly Kansas....) So, that was bit scary. Worth the effort? You bet! What a fine group of folks, thanks again for the hospitality NYC Pipe Club!