Welcome to Dry Mouth January!
Starting fresh several days, weeks and dollars short with a giveaway to boot
Pipe Dreams by Carly Fisher
Greetings From The Future
A Brief Moment To Plug My Book
Livin’ La Vida COVID: SARS and the City
Dry Mouth January Giveaway!: Vessel
5 Chill Ways To Treat Yourself This Month
Glow Up Skincare
The Food Section
Recipe: Wild Mushroom Farro Soup
Weed Wide World News, etc.
NOW! That’s What I Call Weed Witch Vol. 2022
NPR-Style Pipe Dreams Substack Subscription Drive
Oh, hello there.
Reporting live to you from the West Village, several days and weeks overdue—with a brand new cover for Pipe Dreams. What do you think?
Can you believe it’s 2022? What an emotional rollercoaster. Time to scrape out the resin from your crusty pipes, give them a soak in a luxurious salt bath, and treat yourself to only the freshest greens in your super clean bowl as a ritualistic way to greet the year 2022. Introducing: Dry Mouth January! Sparking up in honor of being a Negative PCR Test Nancy! More on that in a moment.
For those of you with FOMO wondering about what could have been in there’s-always-something-happening New York City, rest assured that you missed nothing. Enjoy the JOMO—the joy of missing out. I didn’t even have cable TV to watch Andy Cohen put a chef’s kiss on 2021: a drunken rant against Mark Zuckerberg and former Mayor Bill DeBlasio on live TV, as NBC decided to try to make Miami happen this year courtesy of Miley Cyrus and Pete Davidson. Just hateful.
While this didn’t quite top last year’s 2021 New York ball sponsored by Planet Fitness and Kia in a completely empty Times Square, it was arguably a step up given the nonstop Omicron updates living in the viral Hot Zone of America. Too hot to handle! Sadly, this meant that my dream that it would be sponsored by Delta and LabQ testing, with our tired, huddled masses converging into just one gigantic COVID Conga line. That was just another average day as the city’s COVID rate shot up to 22 percent.
If “the rave illuminati,” as writer Michelle Lhooq dubs them, did in fact meet, they probably all have Omicron by now, as everyone in New York City has it. Collectively, everyone is over it. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and hopefully, physically at some point to render this nightmare endemic.
Instead, most of the evening was spent with a glass flowing with Stephane Tissot sparkling Crémant du Jura—a dreamy, more affordable alternative to “champers” (UGH.Remind me never to call it that again, even ironically)—then, immediately buying a Noom membership and wandering aimlessly around the West Village with joint in hand, which was mostly empty because, you know (Omicron), and hitting the hay at a reasonable hour. Overall, the consensus was “stay the fuck home” and so we did. Speaking of wine trends, I learned a full year later that red Sancerre is a thing worth checking out the next time you hit up your local wine shop.
Bartender, I’ll take a glass of sparkling optimism for 2022, thank you very much!
A Brief Moment To Plug My Book
Believe it or not, I do actually think this is going to be a great year for travel. And I’m not just saying that to plug my book—but I’m going to anyway: Easy Weekend Getaways in the Hudson Valley & Catskills is out now everywhere books are sold. Get your copy online at any of these fine retailers: IndieBound | W.W. Norton | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Target. Find signed copies scattered around New York City at The Strand, Shakespeare & Co., WORD Bookstore, Three Lives & Company, Barnes & Noble Brooklyn, and Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store.
ICYMI: the last issue of Pipe Dreams was punctuated with a lovely guide to Sullivan County Catskills. I want to give a special shout out to the Sullivan County tourism board. Sullivan County really makes you dream about settling down with a new life in the woods, becoming best friends with your local llama farmer, craft brewery and Alan Cumming. It’s pretty special and worth the weekend trip. Which is why I wrote a book about it, I guess.
Livin’ La Vida COVID: SARS and the City
To cap another truly terrible year, I spent half the month in bed with COVID unable to focus on anything except And Just Like That, a.k.a. the Sex and the City revival, where nothing felt relevant or aspirational to this present SARS and the City living except Che’s relentless weed smoking and Miranda’s breakdown.
After taking no less than 20 PCR and rapid tests with varying negative-positive-negative-are we/aren’t we? results, I’ve decided the new COVID Rick Roll is just “Together Forever.” This is the future, get used to it.
Living La Vida COVID meant hardcore sleeping, slurping soup, and slowly going insane over the course of two weeks watching ballroom vogue and cat videos on Instagram, followed by endless manic scrolling on TikTok clips embedded with that “Pope is a Rockstar” by Orlando indie pop band SALES and head bobbing Chocolate Barbie soundbytes spreading like cultural viruses that will surely be forgotten within the next six months. Or maybe it will resurface, like that Armie Hammer cannibalism BDSM scandal that happened during the height of everything that I completely forgot about (oddly, Trump getting banned from Twitter took precedent over the insurrection of January 6, 2021?). You never know what the internet will giveth and taketh away.
SO MUCH HAPPENED LAST YEAR AND SO MUCH OF IT WAS UNNECESSARILY SENSELESS. Just throw it into the dumpster and light it on fire. The grand exception being New York sluggishly, but triumphantly joining the masses banding together for legal weed, available recreationally sometime between now and whenever. Bundle up those mittens, it’s going to be a long winter!
Admittedly, it’s a bit tough trying to sort out which thoughts are your own when some unknown algorithm is the generating the modern Dadaist cultural zeitgeist: a nonstop meme factory with a shelf-life of roughly 48-hours so that all that future generations will be utterly clueless at deciphering what actually matters. No wonder everyone is exhausted. You’re all canceled! Y2K finally manifested two decades after the fact, and it’s just nonsense chaos on TikTok.
TikTok is like being on adderall without any of the productivity. Back in the day, one would take amphetamines as a motivational party drug for an otherwise benign life to knock out mundane, but daunting OCD tasks like deep cleaning your apartment, studying for midterms, or trying to conversation at a party. Uppers are really great for inspiring you to sweep under the rug and dust on top of the cabinets, alphabetically rearranging your cabinets and Marie Kondo-ing your sock drawer, by the way, followed by a lot of teeth grinding and a bad comedown. Unlike TikTok, which is all of the anxiety with none of the rewards of accomplishing anything or even being high. How is that smartphones have made us all so dumb?
Having COVID also meant that—gasp!—I had to give up weed for a few weeks. Just ample time to sit with my spiraling thoughts and bad television, including the new Matrix where Neo has C-PTSD and lives in the hell of working alongside brogrammers in San Francisco without so much as taking advantage of San Francisco’s robust weed delivery options to cope! Even in the original trilogy, he was grinding at the Berghain goth orgy. Now he’s just broken and reads AARP.
Given that it was mostly a Dry December, I considered continuing the trend by jumping onto Dry January. But that would make me a follower, not a leader! Instead, I devised a brilliant twist on a classic to reference the chronic, nagging physical side effect of smoking Chronic: Dry Mouth January. See what I did there? So creative. Thanks, weed.
Frankly, I’m not down with this whole “Cali sober” expression. It’s a lil’ cheug. So is the word “cheugy.” Both now exist within a historic vacuum with their fellow beloved fetch/ing trends that never quite made it into the mass vernacular. Mostly, it’s reductive.
Sobriety doesn’t have to be a fleeting “trend,” but rather a healthy commitment to ones’ well-being, brain cells, weight, body hygiene, spiritual dimension, etc. Plus, we are blessed with a whole range of delicious non-alcoholic and good-for-you adaptogenic functional beverages now!
Among them: I recently picked up a bottle of female-produced Kentucky 74 spiritless bourbon from West Village non-alcoholic shop, Boisson. Elements, a functional beverage brand, had a promising start but hasn’t quite taken off, but boozeless wonder Optimist Botanicals is showing up all around town. Chicago’s Marz Community Beverages has an incredible line-up of delicious booze-free elixirs. And finally, luxury CBD brand Flyers Cocktail Co. has been trying to get into a helicopter. I have no idea if that’s happening, but either way I like their mixed CBD mocktails concocted by notable mixologist Ivy Mix and the idea of getting high drinking it. Stay hydrated and beautiful!
ICYMI, from Vol. 24 here’s my recipe for Carly’s Brain On Iced Tea:
RECIPE: Carly’s Brain On Iced Tea
In an iced tea infuser like this, portion as follows:
Brew water. Infuse for 10 minutes. Remove and discard tea leaves. Chill. Serve over ice. Mix with kombucha, seltzer, or a non-alcoholic spirit to add flavor. Garnish with edible dyanthus flowers made in your Aerogarden because you deserve the best!.
DRY MOUTH JANUARY GIVEAWAY: VESSEL
Who deserves to get high this month? You do!
As some of you know, my mailbox is a real wildcard: folding bicycles and adaptogenic beverages to skincare and weed accessories. Some of these are good, some are not so good, and some of them you can’t even buy. Some of them are just too good not to share. I use and abuse them, trying to assess which are worth the hype. These, my friends, are worth it.
Vessel, a luxury cannabis smokeware company with a plant-touching line, Cardiff Labs, recently sent over a few of their latest vape pen batteries outfitted with a sleek design and some of the smoothest pulls I’ve tried. And these could be yours! To celebrate Dry Mouth January, I am giving away two of these vape pens to a couple lucky Pipe Dreams readers.
To enter, send a letter explaining your most awkward stoned experience. It’s that simple. This could be the first time you ripped a bong, having your stash discovered by your parents or kids, or getting so high that had a traumarama embarrassing moment. Send your entry with your name to email@example.com. Make it count! If you share on social media, tag @itstheweedwitch and three friends. Because that’s how contests work. Paid subscribers get an extra entry, so subscribe now!
5 Weed Essentials That Should Be in Every Stash Box
In the words of my former therapist as she warmly wished me well and sent me on my way after realizing I could no longer afford her $500 sessions out of pocket and would likely never see her again: “You can do poor, Carly. You don’t like it, but you can do it.” She gave me a squeeze and said she was really excited for me to write that book. That’s the moment when I finally became a master at self-care, courtesy of my Sisterhood of the Traveling Stash Box.
Prior to the pandemic, I had a bit of a self-care addiction, spending ridiculous amounts of money on Groupons to 24/7 Korean spas where (stoned, naturally) I’d load up on bowls of bibimbap and glasses of champagne before gently floating like a whale in the neon hot tub, purging my demons in the sweat lodges and salt caves, scrubbing my skin raw, just shelling out so much money on makeup and skincare products. I place a lot of this blame squarely on YouTubers and Rio-Viera Newton’s Google doc on The Strategist (even though half of the columns address advanced skin problems likely exacerbated by the 200 products on heavy rotation. No shade or judgment, just an observation).
This is how I went broke, of course, living my best life. Still, that means I do have some informed opinions from a prolonged period of R+D to be an expert on living beautifully while the world burns.
Here are five very small ways you can chill this month, doing something just for you that, for my favorites that should be in every stash box.
Papers + Ink Rolling Papers ($14-28)
To say that I am obsessed with Paper + Ink’s whimsical organic rolling papers would be an understatement. These papers have become my go-to for special occasions, as it makes anointing every joint feel like sealing the deal on a ritualistic sacrifice. Head straight to the Sample Sale to stock up, as many of these are on deep discount right now.
Summerland Hemp Wick ($3)
Not going to lie: if Summerland hadn’t thrown in a few packs of their hemp wicks, I wouldn’t have even noticed these hemp wicks that I now use religiously. I mean, how can you? Their ceramics are so beautiful that hemp wicks aren’t exactly a stand-out item. As someone who forged apple bongs in college before upgrading to glassware and joints, I can attest that hemp wicks are among the new wave of weed innovations that have definitely improved my life. They’re so handy that I often find myself surprised that they’re not commonplace at headshops and dispensaries alongside filters, tips, lighters and papers, instead often showcased at concept shops with a cutesy wink-nudge stoner accessories section featuring curated niche indie artists. (Though, if RAW made them, you know every down and out bodega would feature these). Compact and convenient (not to mention better for you than inhaling butane lighter), they’re useful AF. I now swear by hemp wicks as daily lifestyle essentials for lighting everything from joints and bowls to awkwardly deep set candles and incense.
Sackville & Co. Gilded Grinder ($80)
This is genuinely my favorite grinder I have. Is it the best grind? No. Would it be nice if it had a keef chamber? Of course. Is it still my favorite grinder? You bet. Why? Because it looks cool as fuck. It’s a true statement piece. The Sackville & Co. Gilded Grinder is an aesthetically pleasing paperweight that instantly classes up any coffee table, while also offering a significant amount of storage and a quick grind versus most standard grinds.
Suicide Miami Delta 8 Gummies ($55)
Here’s something I get asked about a lot: Delta 8. Honestly, I have very tepid feelings about Delta 8! Not only because it sounds like a corny-as-hell elite superhero task force, but because I’m an old school sungrown snob. But that’s not important. The bigger question here is: do these gummies from Dark Box get you high? Yes. Extremely so. My friend took two of these edibles and missed her train stop on three separate tries. These are not your Martha Stewart CBD gummies. These are the kind of gummies that make you feel like you’re on Cloud 9, so you do shit like make the mistake of texting your ex who hates you. Use with caution.
Weed Witch Collage Lighters ($15.75)
Get lit with a bespoke collage lighter created by yours truly, exclusively at The Butterfly Club in New York’s East Village. Each lighter is one-of-a-kind, studded with rhinestones so you can always find it in your bag and call out your friends when they try to pocket it.
8 Products To Glow Up Your Skincare Routine
Looking to freshen up your skincare routine while hibernating this month? Treat yourself to an at-home facial with these tried-and-true favorites from yours truly.
La Roche Posay Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser: It was a toss up between Cetaphyl and this one, but this is currently in my rotation. If your skin is dry and sensitive like mine, this will leave your skin hydrated and cleansed.
Four Sigmatic Superfood Mask: Made with cacao and reishi mushrooms, this is excellent for gently detoxing and exfoliating your skin, leaving it super soft, tightened, and refreshed. It is also sold out everywhere, so you have to buy it on Poshmark and eBay now. Though, there is something delightfully brag worthy about bootlegging your skincare.
Moon Mother Hemp Eye Serum: This has been in my collection for some time because a little goes a long way. It’s a luxurious oil that uses a rollerball to apply, moisturizing the delicate skin under your eyes with CBD.
Maelove Serums Trio: Honestly, the price for these three serums is a steal because I use the Glow Maker and Hydrator regularly as part of my daily skincare routine to help with premature aging and dewy skin. Dewy!
Ambari PM Serum: This is definitely a pricier product, but worth it for once a week overnight treatment. I swear my skin looks like I haven’t been living in a waking public health nightmare and global crisis the past three years. Could it be the secret ingredient—sativa cannabis oil—the other 500 dermatologically-approved ingredients?
Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer: This is one of my favorite moisturizers, even though it’s ‘spensie. It’s thick, but soaks in immediately without any greasy residue to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+: My grandma swears by this, so it’s been added to my collection of face moisturizers. It’s hydrating, good for sensitive skin, light and affordable.
Facee Ice Globes: You know, I never envisioned myself the type to stan glass face globes, but when life hands you a niche beauty product during NYFW, you might find yourself wondering how you lived before having it in your freezer. I love running these Facee ice globes over my eyes and neck when it’s feeling a bit puffy and to help close pores after giving myself a facial.
The Food Section
Writer Kim Severson of the New York Times released the first food trend prediction round-up I’ve seen in about three years, that includes the revival of Long Island Iced Teas and old ladies being the arbiters of taste.
Honestly wasn’t mad. If we’re going to Y2K the food industry, can we bring back Gourmet? I won’t be working there because none of these places ever paid above $30,000, but appreciated their existence in a world that I now cohabit with Food God, who makes $30,000 a month taking a single bite of a towering platter of gold foil hot wings like a giant food sack while Jacobin shits on Alice Waters and the Slow Food movement as the real elitist problem in all of this.
Also, it should be noted that Cheban does, technically, hold more current culinary influence than Waters, with 3.6 million followers on Instagram to her paltry 224K. I suppose there is something a little more relatable and inspiring about losing your shit over three tacky Edible Arrangements platters sent over by marketing teams that one human couldn’t possibly consume in a reasonable amount of time than, say, casually posing with humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala. Wait…that doesn’t sound right.
That said, I completely lost my shit a la Food God when The Japanese Pantry of San Francisco sent over the most beautiful edible arrangement of specialty konbu, white miso, and skipjack tuna flakes. However, I did not have a camera crew to record my unboxing video, where I’d just repeat “Oh my god. I’m not worthy” over and over again.
The Japanese Pantry has the kind of tenderly sourced ingredients that make you feel like you’ve got some inside man at a fifth generation family operation who has weened you onto the nectar of the gods. You’ll become the kind of person who knowingly smiles every time Ina Garten says, “Store bought is fine” as she grits through her teeth. I swear, the dashi I made was so fragrant and delicate that I don’t know if I can actually buy second rate bullshit miso anymore. I’m just going to be the person you know with a shameful secret premium miso habit.
I, for one, have decided to respectfully remove myself from food predictions for 2022. Just happy to be here. I don’t believe in food trends because only climate change and/or gentrification can kill a classic (like the Scuttlebutt from former Brooklyn stalwart, Saltie. RIP), but it’s nice to have something to look forward to that isn’t another burger, pasta or pizza joint. Honestly, this was a pretty terrible year for dining. The list from food experts on Eater this year was downright depressing. I can count the amount of industry events this year I attended on one hand, and the overall vibe was defeated and just grateful to leave the house.
Walked through a Williams-Sonoma the other day and it was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. Really makes you miss the more simple days of PBS cooking shows. They’re literally just selling walls of Instant Pot jarred meals and the French copper pans that Kamala Harris got handed so much shit over because no one is entertaining anymore. Almost makes you want to get married for the registry.
In the meantime, Ruth Reichl is on Substack as a cheap alternative where you can read the old issues with the old chefs! The hottest trend in New York City restaurants is hoping your restaurant still exists and that your staff shows up without COVID unless you’re shelling out $800 to privately eat beef in the back room of some fine dining restaurant that claims to be plant-based now. I think meat is making a comeback, but only to be edgy. Don’t quote me on that.
Wild Mushroom Farro Soup
This is a super easy, fragrant and nourishing meal that also doesn’t cost a fortune. It is also one of those recipes filed under “so weird it works.” -C
1 cup farro
4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 cup wood ear or porcini mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup dashi, optional but highly recommended
Parmesan cheese, optional but tasty
Red wine, optional but why not
In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, toast farro until brown. Add to pot of boiling water. Toast spices and herbs until brown. Add butter and cook mushrooms, onions and garlic until soft. Add mushroom mixture to farro, simmering for 15 to 20 minutes. Add skipjack tuna flakes or dashi to intensify flavor. To finish, drizzle with red wine and Parmesan.
Weed World Wide News, etc.
Recreational dispensary licenses are finally starting to pan out around East Coast, particularly in Massachusetts where you can visit places like Rebelle, The Pass, INSA, Seagrass, and Farnsworth Fine Cannabis. Last month, the Luxury Meets Cannabis Conference (LMCC) arrived in Manhattan, delivering a hopeful preview of the future in beautiful world of wares. Cannabis travel has taken off in Eureka, California, where there are signs pointing towards a more normalized appearance of partnerships and on-site dispensaries at day spas. Word has it that Chicago will be having on-site consumption lounges soon. How are you, Chicago?
Cannacon Northeast returns next week in the wake of Omicron. Good luck!
In Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren is eyeing cannabis tax revenue as a guaranteed basic universal income for its 40% African American population as a form of reparations. Similar programs are being approved in Evanston, Illinois and Oakland, California, to help uplift marginalized communities with funding for home repairs and housing. There are also more black-owned businesses opening up within cannabis and outside of it—notably the craft beer industry, which has always been white male dominated due to access to capital and space, is now having its first wave of black breweries opening across the country.
Goodnight Ladies Goodnight
We lost so many talented and amazing people this year that I honestly lost count. Ceramicist Caitlin Rose Sweet, who was the first feminist smokeware artist I interviewed for Leafly, decided to stop producing her pipes this year. I have three of her pipes, including a stoned Marg Simpson, a Burger Kween, and Boobie bowl. Curandera Bread x Butta is shutting down her Brooklyn studio to focus on microdose journeys. And the little newcomer that could, Alcove Shop, ambitiously opened their dope shop in 2019 just before falling victim to another small business swallowed up by the pandemic.
Weed Witch Watches
Fortunately, Henry Rollins is still alive to talk about quitting music and selling his home for a modest $3.9 million. The new X-Ray Spex documentary “I Am A Cliche” is coming out in February (I caught the screening at Nitehawk earlier in the month, and it’s fabulous). All of the films that came out during NYFF are finally out, including The Tragedy of MacBeth. And I just remembered that I bought tickets to see Bikini Kill OVER A YEAR AGO for next July. Almost makes you nostalgic for the days when you’d wait in line at the grocery store for Ticketmaster tickets…and then not. Pandemic or not, I don’t particularly enjoy waiting in lines for anything.
NOW! That’s What I Call Weed Witch Vol. 2022
Succumb to the darkness of winter with some new-old eclectic and esoteric picks, courtesy of yours truly.
The Final Word
I want to express some gratitude for everyone who reads and supports this newsletter. Grateful for those several who have given me their time to speak about their work, including author Alia Volz of “Home Baked,” Kush Queen founder Olivia Alexander, reiki practitioner Thinh Tawn, and a few more that I am planning to introduce for 2022.
If you’d like to keep this going, please consider upgrading your subscription to paid and share with friends. Your continued support has made this possible and I am humbled by the incredible feedback from those who look forward to these digests. Eventually, I’d love to make these into tangible zines.
Wishing you all a healthy, safe and happy new year filled with only choice bud!
FAQ: "How Do I Make Weed More Equitable?”
Interested in helping to right the wrongs of the past towards a more equitable future for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ forerunners? Check out these organizations;
The Last Prisoner Project: Let’s get people out of jail for minor cannabis crimes and help reform the War on Drugs.
Cage Free Cannabis: Make sure your weed is doing some good to the environment, economy and repairing communities.
Cannaclusive: Calling for racial justice in corporate cannabis.
Women Grow: Creating safe, inclusive pathways for women in weed.