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by Peter Moskos

June 23, 2010

Art Imitates Heroin Brand Names

An interesting art project. The story in the New York Times:
The origins of the show can be traced to 2001, when Pedro Mateu-Gelabert, a sociologist researching the relationship between H.I.V. and drug use, first glimpsed the packets in an empty building in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn, where addicts would shoot up. Immediately, he said, he was struck by the fact that the images on the glassine envelopes served as advertisements.
In New York, for some reason, heroin is sold in little glassine bags or envelopes. I found that strange coming from Baltimore where heroin is sold in gelcaps. In New York they also wait "on line" rather than "in line." And in New York they have no friggin' idea how to make a crab cake.

Regional differences... crazy.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. In Philly, both heroin and coke are typically sold in the tiny bags.

PCM said...

I have no idea how Baltimore got into the gelcap thing for heroin. Now I don't make a habit of buying heroin when I travel, but I don't know any other city that does it that way.

MorePheen said...

The baggies of dope (heroin) are mainly a New England thing. In other parts of the country its sold by weight. Making bags with stamps allows dealers to brand their product. Also each bag is a single dose, so its harder for middlemen to cut the dope since they would have to repackage literally hundreds of individual bags.

Don't know why Baltimore uses gelcaps.