Brooklyn and Baghdad

New York Times, October 20, 1934

Fu Manchu walking hand in hand with Mr. E. Phillips Oppenheim crossed Brooklyn Bridge the other day. The police discovered in a tenement back yard near the Navy Yard a growing crop of marijuana, which is apparently the latest vogue among drug addicts. The value of the standing crop is estimated at $50,000. Next day the police sprayed the noxious harvest with gasoline and set it on fire.

People are always saying, and with much truth, that in New York of the year 1934 one may find, if one knows where to look, samples of Baghdad, Shanghai, Allahabad, Belgrade, Paris, Mayfair, the Sahara, the voodoo jungles, what not. But more impressive than subterranean chambers not far from Park Row, dark with silken hangings and clouds of incense, whence the fiendish and inscrutable Lord of the Dragon reaches out his tentacles over the narcotic trade of the world, is this outlawed crop actually growing in a Brooklyn tenement lot. It is Baghdad without the melodramatic flubdub.

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