Thursday, August 17, 2006

Reason #4,327 why I love New York

Every city has a basic odor to it, but only New York smells like New York. When I've been traveling and I come home, I know I'm back in New York when I get out of the cab or enter the subway system. You know it's summer in the city when you can smell the garbage piles on your block AFTER they've been hauled away. In today's Washington Post, David Segal and two experts on scents (a perfume maker and a retired sanitation worker) take a tour of some of New York's most odiferous locations: the Meatpacking District, Central Park, and Chinatown among them. I laughed out loud at some of the descriptions of the noxious smells they encountered. I've been through Chinatown on a humid summer morning, and it's home to some of the foulest stenches I've ever encountered. But I love the fact that no matter how much the government cleans up the city, it's always going to have that dirty, gritty feeling, especially in the summer. It's almost endearing, until I can't stand the stink and have to find some air-conditioning.

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