Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This city stinks.


You don't really notice it in the other seasons as much, but come summer, the heat brings out every little smell. And every big smell.

And guess what? Being preggers I get to smell it all times ten. Fun!

There are some stretches of sidewalk that I have discovered perpetually smell like pee (usually out side of apartment buildings where the poor dogs have been holding it and holding it and now that they're out side it's a bet they're going to go right away).

There are days where every street smells like rotting trash (NYC doesn't really do dumpsters, so trash is piled on the sidewalk the night before pick up). And if that smell isn't bad enough, it is of course a great place to leave a little doggy message in pee. I won't even get into the other type of doggy messes left behind despite the "rules" about picking up after your dog. I might trigger a gag reflex just talking about it.

Since it's summer, and a recession, there are more homeless people out and about, and while I am not judging them, they can smell very bad. Yesterday walking to work we ended up downwind of a guy whose aroma was pretty strong...I ended up slowing down enough to miss the walk sign so that he'd be across the street and around Columbus circle, and thus no longer upwind.

Summer probably doesn't have anything to do with smoking, but I do feel like more people are out smoking their pipes and cigars and cigarettes now that the weather is nicer, and *gag* *choke* *gasp* I can't say how much it annoys me that I *get* to walk through the stench of their habit. Just about the only place you can smoke now a days is outside, some apartments even don't allow it, meaning not even in your "home" for some people. So on the one hand I can sorta understand. But my nose and gag reflex have no sympathy.

Plus there are smells that might ordinary be fine, but because it's summer and there are all these other smells, it's overwhelming all the same. Like heavily applied deodorant or perfume. Or restaurant smells...the hot dog stand smells...

This is the first time we're experiencing the full smell of the city, because prior to this we lived on Roosevelt Island, which is an island in the East River. It doesn't have the same trash in the streets problem, and since it is so small the wind easily blows away any other smells.

I just wish I could go outside and take a deep breath without wondering if I'm going to gag for doing so!


  1. That's awful! I'm sensitive to strong odors and I can't imagine what it must be like for someone who's pregnant, too. I feel for you!

  2. Oy. I was pregnant with my first when we were still living in Chicago. I could smell every nasty urban smell as well, like when someone got on the subway and had eaten an everything bagel ofr breakfast or gone out drinking the night before. I knew exactly when the Asian restaurant behind our condo opened for lunch. My heart goes out to you. What's amazing is that as soon as the baby is born, your sense of smell goes completely back to normal, It's so weird.

    My only advice is to breathe through your mouth and avoid certain blocks where you know it's worse.

    Hang in there!


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