You know things are bad when the high-end coke dealers have to resort to cold calling their old clients. Clients who where once the high rollers of Wall Street and real estate. This was a time when coke dealers could be picky about who they did business with and had nothing but A-List names in their phonebooks.
My how things have changed since the market crashed and no-one is paying their inflated mortgages. As Adina Wise at the Daily Intel things are getting rough for these poor old coke dealers.
Then the stock market crashed, and people started losing Sammy’s number. But he didn’t lose theirs. “It was a 646 number,” says Nate, 26, who works at an investment bank; he got three calls from Sammy in one week. (Sammy’s contacts — five years’ worth — are stored in a small black notebook with cross streets, physical descriptors, and even sketches corresponding to each name.) When Nate called back, Sammy picked up right away: “He was like, Hey Nate, it’s me, Sammy, where ya been?” Last November, Nate was forced to switch jobs, and took a notable pay cut. “It’s not all fun and games anymore. I told him thanks but no thanks.”
Not only that but it seems that the class division among dealers is causing more than its share of problems as well.
Having to reach out to customers isn’t the worst of it. “I see high-end guys hawking in parks now,” says Sammy. “And these are guys that used to sell to Paris Hilton’s crowd.” For Tim C., a longtime street dealer whose headquarters are in Washington Square Park, the problem has trickled down. He’s now competing with those guys who used to do deliveries only: “They come in like they own the place, and take all my business.” Things have been made worse by the fact that NYU freshman and other passersby are more resistant to his pitch. “These kids are clean,” Tim says. “It sucks. You’re gonna find me at the post office if this goes on for much longer.”
Somehow I don’t think too many people are feeling sorry for these guys.