I was attending a conference and Dan was along for the ride. So while I went to an evening reception, he hung out on the fenced-in patio enjoying the warm air.
"You look like a guy who wants dope," suggested one fellow passing by on the sidewalk. Dan looked over his shoulder to see who he was talking to. For those who don't know, Dan is clean cut and wears polo shirts and jeans. He doesn't exactly have a doper thing going on.
The next one asked if he wanted "penicillin." "What? Do I look like I have an infection?" Dan replied. The dealer next accosted a suit walking by, who went to the corner and then came back for "penicillin," whatever that is.
Dan does smoke (plans to quit, he says) but he wasn't smoking when someone said "you look like a smoker" and offered him a "way cool lighter." Thrusting it through the fence, he pushed a button, and pop, a switchblade came out. A lighter with a switchblade. Hmmm. Wonder what it's used for? Murder or crack pipe?
The last one was the most absurd. "Hey, buddy. You know that sign out here? It tells you all about the history of the hotel. You should come out and look at it." Dan: "Is that the best you can do?" Dan's not sure if he wanted to do a deal or mug him.
Quite an introduction to downtown: Art deco hotel. Great restaurants. A truly messed up road system. And dope dealers by the dozen. Even in front of the Ritz.