Twenty years ago I used to hang out in Greenwich Village. You couldn’t walk through (or alongside of) Washington Square Park without some guy walking past you mumbling “Smoke, smoke.” I never took any of them up on their offer, so I don’t know how many were honest drug dealers and how many undercover cops.
And I was planning to leave it there, but check out this five-year-old NY Times story on the investigation of the Chinatown counterfeiting scene, with its mazes of underground catacombs:
While exploring a basement room in the mid-90’s, Mr. Holmes found a tall cabinet against the wall. He opened the cabinet and pushed the back, which sprang open into another room. There was a man chopping chickens with a meat cleaver.
“When we came through, he raised the meat cleaver,” Mr. Holmes said. “But once he saw who we were and that we weren’t bad guys, he put it down.”