In case you are wondering, "D" is my husband -- Dave Liu! As you've probably noticed, I don't update this blog often but I may post more as I've linked this to my Google+ account.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

New York Smells ("Smells" as Adjective, Not Noun)

Am I stating the obvious by saying that New York City smells? I didn't notice it when I lived here, but that's probably because I was used to it then. It smells like fear, hope, poverty, money, frustration and opportunity all mixed in together.

My olfactory organs kicked into overdrive as soon as I came off the plane at LaGuardia airport. It was warm that day, causing hot air to steam off the tarmac. Everything seemed sticky and stifling.

I used to think that the stench was limited to the NY subways, but the pungent smell has now risen up to the city streets. Or was it always that way? It's a combination of sweat and stale urine, with a little rotten garbage tossed in for good measure. I guess it's typical of any overcrowded city where busy people are rushing around at all hours of the day, despite the standstill traffic.

I tried running on the streets tonite, but there was nowhere to go. Not only did I have to dodge pedestrians, but I was stopped by traffic lights every 2-3 blocks. They're small blocks too. 20 blocks=1 mile I think. Central Park is supposed to be a popular and better place to run, but I wasn't about to go there at night, especially since people have been assaulted there in broad daylight.

For all of its drawbacks, New York City is a unique and fascinating place. There are few cities where tasty food and exciting entertainment are available 24/7. It's exhausting just being there, but it builds character and mental stamina. Sinatra is right, if you can make it in NYC, you can make it anywhere.

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