Good Smell Perplexes New Yorkers

That title was so damned good as reported in the story, I just couldn't change it. In fact, I have no desire to change any of it - just know that a good smell hit the streets of New York last night and freaked a few people out. The police were harangued with calls and actually went to investigate!

And I actually spelled harangued correctly! Bonus!

That was a very Russel-ish exclamation point but dammit I mean it!

OK - because some people don't want to register to read the article, there it is, complete and funny as hell, below.


Photo by the eminently talented Spencer Tunick

Published: October 28, 2005

An unseen, sweet-smelling cloud drifted through parts of Manhattan last night. Arturo Padilla walked through it and declared that it was awesome.

"It's like maple syrup. With Eggos. Or pancakes," he said. "It's pleasant."

The odor had followed Mr. Padilla and his friend along their walk in Lower Manhattan, from a dormitory on Fulton Street, to Pace University on Spruce Street, and back down again, to where they stood now, near a Dunkin' Donuts. Maybe it was from there, he said. But it wasn't.

Mr. Padilla was not alone. Reports of the syrupy cloud poured in from across Manhattan after 9 p.m. Some feared that it was something sinister.

There were so many calls that the city's Office of Emergency Management coordinated efforts with the Police and Fire Departments, the Coast Guard and the City Department of Environmental Protection to look into it.

By 11 p. m., the search had turned up nothing harmful, according to tests of the air. Reports continued to come in from as far north as 112th Street shortly before midnight. In Lower Manhattan, where the smell had begun to fade, it was back, stronger than before, by 1 a.m.

"We are continuing to sample the air throughout the affected area to make sure there's nothing hazardous," said Jarrod Bernstein, an emergency management spokesman. "What the actual cause of the smell is, we really don't know."

There were conflicting accounts as to its nature. A police officer who had thrown out her French vanilla coffee earlier compared it to that. Two diplomats from the Netherlands disagreed, politely. Rieneke Buisman said it smelled like roasted peanuts. Her friend Joris Geeven said it reminded him of a Dutch cake called peperkoek, though he could not describe that smell.

1 comment:

Russel said...

We could do with some nice smells here in Dundee today - although after today's weather we may have that "just after the rain" scent soon enough.

And what do you mean a "Russel-ish" exclamation mark? Although, I do like the idea of having some grammatical thing named after me. Fantastic!