“Do not turn away a poor man…even if all you can give is half a date. If you love the poor and bring them near you…God will bring you near Him on the Day of Resurrection”.
(Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1376)
(The Hadith is a collection of sayings and stories which are commonly related back to the life and sayings of prophet, Mohammed).
One of my fondest memories growing up as a kid in the 90’s was Gray’s Papaya in NYC.It was a guilty pleasure of mine.Back then you could get a hot dog with any topping for 50 cents.So it was definitely in my budget.I mostly frequented the one on 8th and 6th. It was conveniently located below my favorite record store.Fat Beats(RIP).So after bullshitting with all the people that hung out or worked their.Including various people I forget,Q-Unique from the Arsonists,Percy P slanging his cds outside,Jin,Ill Bill and DJ Eclipse from Non Phixion etc..I’d spend most of my money on records.So with little in my budget to eat I’d go to Grays.They weren’t the most appetizing hot dogs.But they filled you up.And you could not beat that shit for 50 cents.I’d always regret eating them of course.Cause I’d get the shits either the next day or a few hours later.But like I said they were 50 cents.And they were heavenly after a night of getting drunk or smoked out.That is when I really loved Grays.I was never one to get the beer muscles that bad.But I always neglected eating anything when I was partying.So when I got drunk I’d get the stomach muscle.Which lead to a lot of things later on in life.So by the time the night was done. I’d be extremely hungry.And I’d usually get 4 of them for only 2 bucks.My favorite was the red onion topping.I use to go savage on them.
Damn that looks so nasty haha.But it did the trick back then.I was living in Jersey at the time.So another great thing about the 8th and 6th location it was located by the Path to Jersey.It was like a minute walk.So it was on the way.I use to take the path in and hit up the Chinese grocery for a 40.Then I’d hit Grays on my way out.I had a ritual.Whether it was a night of just hanging in the streets,going to shows,playing pool,drinking,yodeling at girls,.or whatever.Grays was always hit.i think the longest streak I had was 2 weeks straight of eating that bullshit.I’m surprised I’m still alive.
“you gotta watch your friends you got to watch me”
they conniving shit
the first chance to crack the bank
they try me, all they get is 50 cent franks
and papayas, from the village to the tele
time to kill it on your belly no question”
Also to back then.My boy E and I made a crank tape.We thought we were the Jerky Boys.But better.We had some good ones though.We even cranked Bad Boy Records.We didn’t get Puff on the phone but we did a hell of a audition for the receptionist on the phone.We said we were like the Fat Boys but fatter and younger.And she could call us the Fat Kids or something.We switched the phone back and forth and went EPMD on her. I use to like calling Grays tho.I don’t remember them in detail.But I remember one where I claimed I was a health inspector.And that I have proof that they made the hot dogs out of homeless people that went missing.I remember telling the guy “I think you guys are on some Soylent Green shit over their”.He replied in his thick ass accent “Fuck your ass”.
One of my favorite memories of Grays though was going their with my friend Greg.He was a pretty cool guy.Pretty much unlike the thugs I usually hung out with.He was the intellectual type and kind of like a hipster.But he was a delinquent too.When I would hang out with him we would usually play pool.And then try and pick up any chick we could.We were really good wing men to each other at the time.We came across different to people.But the more you got to know us you could see we both had some of the same qualities.So you could see why we were friends..And women ate that up.But that’s a whole novel in itself.I don’t know how it started.We were probably high as hell.But we started calling Grays Mecca. Cause we made a pilgrimage their every night.I don’t remember how many days,weeks or jokes but it ended with us forming our own religion based off of Islam.Instead of 5%ers we were 50centers.And we officially renamed Islam to Grayslam.The holy city of Mecca was now located in NYC.And it wasn’t a city anymore but a restaurant(inside hot dog cart really).We converted a few women.But we weren’t successful with converting the masses.Except for one dude named Curtis Jackson.But I haven’t kept in contact with him.Then eventually we stopped practicing the religion.It was not a good health choice.They kept raising the price.So you can’t be a 50 center when they are charging 75cents or a dollar.Plus Greg and I had a falling out.Long story short it involved immaturity,a gun,and lack of communication.So I left the nation of Grayslam. The co-founder of Grayslam though is one of the main people I regret losing as a friend.Luckily after about 7 years we just linked on Facebook.Which is cool.Hopefully we can restart a friendship.And also rebuild the nation.Who knows?