Crackhouse: Notes from the End of the Line

Crackhouse: Notes from the End of the Line

Crackhouse: Notes from the End of the Line

Crackhouse: Notes from the End of the Line

Excerpt

The building is a faded brownstone, five stories tall, faced with green-copper arches. Set between Leona's Discount House and Perfumerie and Victor's Travel Agency, there is not much to distinguish it from hundreds of other buildings in the neighborhood. But there are subtle signs: the door is jammed open; visitors glance around furtively and step quickly, plunging their hands into their pockets to make sure the glass pipe is out of sight. Multicolored plastic vials crunch underfoot; just inside the door are unshaven lookouts with sunken eyes.

The girls and boys, men and women whose stories are recorded here are the lost souls of the city, visible to outsiders only as menacing apparitions: boys steering customers to a drug location, too-thin girls standing in the stench of the stairwells, pressing passersby for loose change—always trying to get a dollar closer to a "hit."

This book focuses on the lives of people in a crackhouse in New York City. Some have lived together for years as family, friends, lovers; others pass through for a moment. This is a story about their lives, lives that otherwise go unnoticed save for the degrading rituals of arrest, trial, and imprisonment.

They play many roles—smokers and dealers, buyers and beggars—but all are seeking crack or freebase, forms of cocaine that can be smoked for a swift and powerful high. "Crackheads," as they call themselves, wish only the illumination they find . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.