Thursday, August 25, 2011

Taking a Sniff of the Big Apple

A month or so ago I walked the World Trade Center subway station with amNewYork reporter Marc Beja who covers the paper’s transit beat. Tracking malodors is harder than you might think: they can be wafted blocks from their origin and there often is no clear concentration gradient to follow. But I was optimistic on this ripest of hot summer afternoons, especially after previously hitting the malodor jackpot on Broome Street with Molly Young of New York Magazine. Unfortunately, Beja and I didn’t pick up the obvs urine notes that many morning commuters complain of in the WTC station.

[BTW crouching over puddles of subway water and gesturing while one guy takes notes on pad and another takes photos draws stares even from hard-boiled NYers. I think there’s a Jack Ass mini-episode waiting to be written . . .]

So yesterday, when a transportation advocacy group released poll results identifying the city’s smelliest station (138th Street in the Bronx), Beja gave me a call for comment. Compared to the other people he quoted—the advocacy group’s exec. dir., a union boss, and a characteristically blunt Bronx resident—I sound like Mr. Reasonable Milquetoast.

Hey, I call ‘em like I smell ‘em.

You gotta problem with that?

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