These days, the Big Apple smells more like a big pile of rotting garbage. What gives? And there’s something else. Have you noticed that walking down any avenue you seem to pass skunk farms, one after another?
by David Stone
New York City Smells and Variations Are Blossoming
There are a few possible explanations for why New York City smells so bad these days. First of all, there’s history. Centuries of bad odors layered on top of each other become like an orchestra of many blending sections.
The newest section of that symphony is like the first row of violins, leading everything else. That’s the harmony of skunks. Or, as you may call them, marijuana joints everywhere.
Even for those of us who have no problem with marijuana, those of us who cheered when it was legalized, it’s a mystery overshadowing anything found on Easter Island. Why does it smell so godawful bad?
Don’t Disregard Tradition
The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity creates the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, which can lead to an increase in the production of smelly gases like methane and sulfur dioxide.
It’s like a chorus of farts with everyone, including tourists, chiming in, creating New York City smells.
Another unforeseen factor that may be contributing to the city’s stench is the increased use of air conditioners. Air conditioners circulate air around a room, which means that they can also circulate smells around a room.
So, if your air conditioner is recirculating smelly air from outside, it could be making your indoor space smell bad.
Finally, it’s worth noting that New York City is home to a lot of waste—and not just in the form of trash. The city also produces a lot of food waste, which ends up in landfills where it emits methane gas.
Methane is odorless, but when it mixes with sulfur dioxide, it can create a foul-smelling substance called mercaptan.
Mercaptan, for the unenlightened, has been favorably compared with rotting cabbages or smelly socks.
Your Options When New York City Smells Bring You to the Brink
So there you have it—a few possible explanations for why New York City smells so bad these days.
If you’re looking to escape the stench, you might want to consider spending some time in the mountains or, God forbid, Connecticutt or, sorry, upstate wherever that is.
New Jersey? New Jersey is downwind, and many stink experts consider it a seed for what permeates Manhattan.