17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Is this a tribute, or are we breaking up?

(With only days to spare, June's NYC tribute:)

There is something special about NYC in the summer time. The combination of heat and humidity has the power to hold any odor in the air as a cloud that is usually about nostril height. If odors were colored, there would be little clouds of blacks, yellows, pukes and mostly browns floating around your head as you walk to and from your destination.
The first time I was pregnant I was lucky enough to be in my second trimester during the summer so I had no nausea issues. But this time, (yes tales girls, were on round two) THIS time is extra fabulous cause I am just finishing up my first trimester and have wanted to puke each and every time I have set foot out the door. This truly has tested my love affair with NYC and frankly I do think I want to break up for a while.

Some of my favorite thick and musty NYC smells:

1. Urine. And don’t be fooled people, this isn’t some innocent dog or cat, (while there is that) NO! This is the human kind. Mostly found in elevators, dark corners and on most brick walls.

2. Dog feces…. everywhere! Maybe it's my neighbor hood, but our little song goes something like this:
“There is poop everywhere. On your stroller, on your shoe, on the sidewalk there is dog poo.”

3. Cigarette smoke. I usually get the puff right in the face. I'm sure I will die before I'm 50.

4. Wet dog. ICK! My neighbor also has a dog so our hallway constantly smells of wet, musty, dirty dog. (Nothing against the creatures, but they do stink~)

5. Burnt pretzels. I imagine this is close to the smell of burning flesh although I don’t actually know what that smells like. Any of you other NYC girls want to take a stab at a description? It's beyond me.

6. The other day I ran past McDonalds. The entire block smelled of rancid oil

7. Bus exhaust, car exhaust, dump truck exhaust. Taxi’s, backhoe’s, moving vans, SUV’s, Doubledecker’s. You name it, we got it and it spits out dark, black, deadly exhaust. MAN! This city is DIR-TY!.

8. Indian Food, Cuban Food, Chinese Food. Usually yummy but currently retched.

9. Body Odor. Yes, even in this day and age of showers, deodorant and perfume, people (especially NY people) still have it. It comes with big sweaty yellow armpits in your face belonging to a big fat hairy guy that’s holding the handrail next to you on the subway.

10. Garlic. I swear people here BATH in it! It permeates the trains, especially in the morning. Like people went out on the town the night before and had garlic margaritas.

11. And speaking of…Alcohol breath. Man on the Subway, Woman on a city bench, ALWAYS a bum at the playground. The only thing that would be worse is a big hairy man with B.O. AND alcohol breath on the subway. Oh, wait…

12. Have you ever smelled horse manure on a hot, 100% humid day? Gotta love Central Park, although it smells pretty bad in the winter too.

13. The other day I SWEAR my street corner smelled like sweaty metal. You know the scent of your hands after swinging on the swings? I think I'm gonna be sick.

SO far these are the only ones (HA!) that have made my last two months a living hell. Whether it’s a NY smell or one that made you sick in your first trimester, anyone else care to add to the list?

*note to TftCarrie: guess its time to change the number of “in utero”


  • Oh ksl...maybe we should have had you tribute after you had two kids to tote around the city with no car...maybe the list would have been better...wait a sec, scratch that.

    Congrats on the new baby. My gift to NYC was my scrambled egg puke right on the sidewalk. I think I got her back for all those smells...your welcome.

    I think the most intolerable for me is body odor of any kind during rush hour and the pee on the elevator. And you covered that and EVERYTHING else....so sorry.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/27/2006 09:55:00 PM  

  • You make me SOOOOO glad I don't live in NYC. Fun to visit, but...those smells would do me in. I have a super keen sense of smell, and that urine stink hits me every time, and I just die.

    The other tributes didn't make me want to live there, although they were very nice tributes and all. I ALWAYS remember the smell, and whenever I visit, I do have fun, but I reassure myself that I will never live there.

    Of course, if I could find a group of friends like you Tales girls, it might be tolerable....

    Congrats on the new babe. Hope you feel better soon.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 6/27/2006 10:05:00 PM  

  • Congrats to you! I got you taken care of in the header. And so sorry about the wretched NYC summer smells. The worst was always trash day because sometimes the garbage collectors wouldn't come by the neighborhood 'til the late afternoon and by then all that yummy trash was able to bake all day long and give off a most unforgettable aroma. YUCK!

    And I always think the pretzels taste burnt too. I kept giving them a try, but they were always the same big disappointment. I'll stick with Pretzelmaker.

    For both kids, I was in my third trimester when the NYC summer hit. And though that had it's own yucks, I would choose it again before I would want to hand my morning sickness over to the

    Thanks for the tribute! It brings back memories!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/27/2006 10:25:00 PM  

  • TRASH, TRASH, and more stinking TRASH! That is my scent-memory of my block on 31st Ave! Every afternoon walking to the subway and the trash had been sitting on the curbside ALL DAY LONG baking and boiling in the sun. UGH! I can just remember the stench as though it were yesterday. One wiff and you'd hold your breath as long as possible. And what is the deal with NYC??? It's like every day is trash day. You can't escape. If it's not trash day on your block, it is on another! BO in the subways, too. Don't miss that at all. A good smell is the roasted nuts in winter... but they never taste as good as they smell.

    Congrats ksl! Although it is gross to feel morning sickness in the summer heat I really loved being pregnant this time of year. It seems like it goes super-fast with the holidays and the New Year. February will come faster than you know it. I'm happy for you and your little family... well, not little for long.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 6/27/2006 10:53:00 PM  

  • Oh... I thought of another one. Cab smell! I don't know what it is... it is unique and it is GROSS! Might as well just hold your breath the entire way across the bridge. Those cabs STINK!
    posted by Blogger Beth at 6/27/2006 10:55:00 PM  

  • Congratulations on the new addition!

    I don't know what it's like being pregnant, here or elsewhere, so I'm going to cut you some slack for dissin' when you should have been praisin'.

    I do hate the smell of trash day, but I only catch it ONCE a week, and it is a little depressing that urine now smells like home to me (the stairway off the 61st stop--yuck!), but I LOVE, LOVE all the food smells--garlic, burnt pretzels, rancin McDonald's oil, all make me hungry--, the fresh rain (lots of it lately), a whiff of lilacs, even the exhaust.

    As for all the other things on your list, I'm afraid I contribute: I sweat baby, and it doesn't smell like daisies, I'm sure, and I have the stinkiest puppy (who I clean up after on the street--curses to all dog owners who don't!) who I cuddle with all the time. I guess I just feel like I can't complain when I'm definitely part of the problem!
    posted by Blogger newmom at 6/28/2006 06:54:00 AM  

  • Congratulations, ksl, on your second! How wonderful!

    When I think of NYC smells, they're always associated with very specific places. Like the urine at the 34th Street N/W/R stop. I got out at that stop for a year when working on 35th and Madison and it always smelled exactly the same. When I commuted into the city through Penn Station the walk on 35th street--past all the BACK entrances to the 34th street stores--smelled horribly of trash. Horribly.

    But I also remember the good smells: our neighbors grilling Columbian style (?) outside; rain on cement; the bakery in the morning at the 30th Ave NW stop in Astoria; the aged wood in the rooms where I attended graduate school; and the musty smell--that I actually like having grown up in damp Japan--in the basement of our church building. What a place.
    posted by Blogger sunny at 6/28/2006 07:34:00 AM  

  • I totally posted my comment last night without finishing it. Duh. It should say:

    And though that had it's own yucks, I would choose it again before I would want to hand my morning sickness over to the same hot and smelly NYC streets.

    And speaking of the good smells. I miss the smell of the kebab carts. Especially the 4 competing carts on Steinway and 31st Ave. I love street meat!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 6/28/2006 07:56:00 AM  

  • I cant believe i forgot to put TRASH on the list. Crazy mama.
    I usually love love love all the good food smells. i dig street meat too, just not now. its funny how you can like it then hate it. it feels like im in the wrong body or something. that feeling is only going to get worse. thanks for not being too hard on me since my tribute is much more on the negative side.
    posted by Blogger ksl at 6/28/2006 09:01:00 AM  

  • I'm not from NYC, but I did happen to visit in my first trimester - back in January.
    I left a gift- my first prengnancy throw-up (of many) in Chinatown right next to someone's SUV. If it's that bad in January, there's no way I could survive a summer. Heck, the smell of my kitchen makes me want to puke, I can't imagine having to face the smells you've described!
    posted by Anonymous VirtualM at 6/28/2006 11:14:00 AM  

  • Yeah. NYC during pregnancy can wreak havoc on the ultra-sensitive olfactory sensor. I have an extremely heightened sense of smell as it is but, during pregnancy it was absolute torture. Fortunately, for me, I didn’t live in NYC at the time and didn’t have to go in too often for work during those gestational months. I feel for you girl!
    posted by Blogger Stacy at 6/28/2006 02:46:00 PM  

  • Oh yes, i'm with you on this one. Though I didn't have to deal with the odors of summer, but there are just so many smells that haunt you when pregnant, and even the wintertime city presents a wide variety! I guess we should just be thankful that we aren't pregnant in a more crowded or polluted city - imagine dealing with the odors of Mexico City or Delhi!
    posted by Blogger marian at 6/28/2006 03:46:00 PM  

  • Don't break up with New York!! Just go on a break...for the summer, or first trimester. TRASH was numero uno for me on the bad smell list. Especially the trash of this little Afghani restaurant on my way to work...whoa...why wasn't that trash on the shaded side of the street? It's amazing what a hot humid sun can do to an already atrocious smell.
    The other smell that got me when I was preggers - a mixture of urine and some sort of acidic liquid that constantly dripped right where I had to transfer from the 6 to the V - everyday. EEEEEEEEEEEWWW. I hated that walk. A girl can only hold her breath for so long. Then I felt like the smell would get stuck in my nose and I couldn't get rid of it! Yuck.
    Regardless, I love New York.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 6/28/2006 04:36:00 PM  

  • This post made me want to trade links with you. ;)

    For what it is worth, with a population density about 10x that of New York, Paris has finally gotten rid of the dog poop, reduced public smoking and alcohol breath, and doesn't smell as much of urine.

    Still, looks like I'm locked into having to take the kids to New York before anywhere else. They want to see the city.

    I'm hoping tributes like this will get them to choose going to San Antonio again instead. ;)
    posted by Blogger Stephen at 6/28/2006 05:32:00 PM  

  • "If you're missing NYC, all you have to do is urinate in your humidifier, then you'll feel like you're back home in an instant."

    Yucky but so true.
    posted by Blogger Rebecca van Uitert at 6/28/2006 06:43:00 PM  

  • Oh, and congrats on #2! Olivia told us last week but we weren't sure if we were supposed to know yet or not. :)
    posted by Blogger Rebecca van Uitert at 6/28/2006 06:45:00 PM  

  • Today there was QUITE a stench as I drove over the Triboro bridge...made me think of this post.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 6/28/2006 07:26:00 PM  

  • THe thing that always killed me (prego with both kids in NYC or not) was the smell of the homeless. I know, I know - they can't help it - they are homeless after all. But the smell of urine, feces and general uncleanliness wafting off of the homeless (it's kind of a sweet , ripe smell for those who haven't experienced it) always made me feel like puking.

    Car exhaust really did me in when prego, too - plenty o'that in NYC!

    And you don't need to break up yet with NYC - you're just on hiatus with the positive "I Love NY" feelings right now :)
    posted by Blogger chloe at 6/28/2006 07:35:00 PM  

  • Congrats, ksl on #2! I moved to NYC during the height of my morning sickness with my first and being new at the pregnancy thing and NYC, I did not realize that the smells are not always quite so horrid....I was pretty miserable that summer and wondered out loud a lot why we had moved from a perfectly nice place to this third-world hell hole (poor DH, he loved NY from the start...it took me a little while). It was an especially hot summer and the worst smell for me was the fresh food stands outside of the bodegas because by the end of the day the fresh veggies and fruits were rotten. I heaved more than once on the street after passing those places.

    Hang in there ksl!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 6/30/2006 08:45:00 PM  

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