(Attendees at Wednesday night’s Wallyhood meet-up had the opportunity to meet Grandpa Wallyhood, who is visiting from Back East. As he has in the past, he offered to write a piece for Wallyhood during his visit. His latest entry is below.
Why he chose to take such a benign view towards pot-smoking now, instead of during our high school and college years when it would have made our life easier, we can’t explain.)
Just think of it as a small museum in Wallingford. Some beautiful blown-glass sculptures displayed in attractive enclosures, some artifacts made for and by natives of the region, and some anthropological relics of a culture you may (or may not) be familiar with. That’s the Puffin Glass shop (“Puffin”, not as in the bird, but as in what you’re doin’ when you’re smokin’.)
The shop, on 45 and 4th Avenue NE in Wallingford, as behooves any museum, is safe and secure. It’s in a large, very pleasant and comfortable ground-floor space guarded by iron bars to secure the treasures within. Its collection is made up mainly of accessories for “puffin”, like pipes, vaporizers, cigarette paper, and hookas, many of which are quite handsome and a few of which (hookas) are quite expensive (over $4,000). Most items are in the $30 to $90 range. All the glassware is made by local artists from Seattle, Spokane, and Bellingham and are hand-blown with careful attention to detail and color. None of collection is imported from abroad.
The shop sells artifacts in its collection to locals who practice a form of relaxation called “smoking”. The material to be smoked, often tobacco, is placed in a small glass cup or receptacle of some kind. Depending on the “hardware” the material is either warmed (no smoke or tars) or burned. The smoke or vapor is then filtered through cold, sometimes iced, water making it cool and moist. Some tars and carcinogens are filtered out by the water.
If the material is tobacco, it can be in a form called shisha, which has a very low nicotine content. The smoking can be done by one individual through a glass or plastic tube, or a group of people can share an apparatus (called a hookah) that has a number of tubes, which allows communal smoking, a rite cherished by some of the natives.
Puffin Wallingford is owned by Chad Predisik, an easy-going, engaging guy who took over a few months ago after moving from Spokane, where he worked at one of the four Puffin shops in that area.
Disclaimer: As a physician, I’m against people’s smoking substances. Evidence shows that lowering the tar of tobacco smoke does not lower the risks of smoking. But even if you don’t smoke, you may find visiting Puffin Glass an entertaining way to spend a some time, see some interesting art work, and learn a little about life on the mild, if not wild, side. Chadd is in business to sell stuff, but he’s very pleasant and would be glad to have you stop by even if it’s just to view the museum’s collection.