Here’s a new way to tell when college kids are back in Boston: shelves at the Joint — a new Comm Ave head shop near Packard’s Corner — resemble electronic-store aisles during the Los Angeles riots.
“They cleaned us out,” says salesman Luke Marut about the past month’s rush. (Marut took this semester off from Harvard Extension to educate folks on the merits of glass-on-glass apparatuses.) “The reaction has been insane and completely unexpected. We’ve had artists in here blowing glass who have been all around the world saying that they’ve never seen a place so busy.”
In most cities, knowledge of a new paraphernalia spot is hardly headline-worthy. But the choices are limited in Boston; other than variety stores that might stock a small selection of pipes, smokers have been restricted locally to the Hempest on Newbury Street and Sugar Daddy’s in Kenmore Square. Reliable as those stand-bys might be, they were the only serious shows in town until Boston University grad D.J. Lawton quietly set up head shop this past April.
Unlike its not-so-far-away competitors, the Joint feels like an underground operation. Perhaps that’s because it literally is — squeezed in a tight rented basement (that gets dangerously loud when customers ring the in-house gong), the corner fills quickly, and last week had several dozen students queuing to cop pieces by such elite custom manufacturers as Wicked Sands, Illadelph, and ZOB.
“We try and find out what customers are looking for,” says Marut. “We want people to buy the right thing. Students like our mentality; they see themselves behind the counter instead of just some greedy old people trying to make some money.”
“Our motivation was simple,” adds Lawton. “We believe that people should be able to enjoy their freedom without anybody giving them a hard time.”
For more information, go to thejointboston.com.
: Lifestyle Features
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