Friday, October 28, 2005
New York City Smelled Good Last Night, and No One Knows Why 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
This passage from the New York Times [reg. req.] reads like the deceptively inocuous opening to a Ray Bradbury short story that's soon about to go horribly wrong:
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."... 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 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. [One] said it smelled like roasted peanuts. Her friend...said it reminded him of a Dutch cake called
peperkoek, though he could not describe that smell.
Authorities still have not determined the source of the pervasive sweet smell. According to NY1, officials from the Office of Emergency Management have been taking air samples, but aroma's origin is still unknown. Predictably, reports of a good smell in New York are news indeed. GothamIST readers quipped, "A Canadian terrorist attack?" and "Just in time for Halloween - the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man has farted!"

Update on GothamIST: was it just a temperature inversion? If so, does that mean there is a permanent layer of maple scented air above the urban funk-o-sphere?