Tuesday, 5 March 2013

USA: New York Nose Nav

Since moving to New York I have developed a rather odd and disgusting skill of being able to differentiate between the smells of the city. Not the nice ones, like freshly baked bagels or cupcakes, or even hot dogs (I know they are gross, but why do they always smell so good?), but the bad ones. The really gross, I don't even want to know what that is, kind of smells. I can differentiate between dog, cat and horse pooh. I can smell a homeless person a block away and know the difference between the smell of vomit and garbage. Lovely.

Unfortunately, New York is a very smelly city. What with the rubbish being piled high on the streets and most public areas being used at dog toilets (I think it's worst on the Upper West Side and in Chelsea), my new heightened sense of smell had come in useful on occasion. I have managed to avoid (although not always) treading in various sorts of pooh, side-stepped a rather large pile of well-disguised puke and narrowly missed getting on a subway carriage with a homeless guy who last washed in 1987. I also know the stinkiest streets to avoid in my neighbourhood and the best place to stand at my local subway station.

A strong stomach definitely comes in handy when you live here, but I prefer to try an avoid the nasty smells when I can. I have learnt a lot about living in New York over the past 2 1/2 years, but I can safely say that being able to tell the difference between animal pooh isn't something I thought would come in useful!

Reproduced with the kind permission of the author, whose blog is here.

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