Fresh Kills "Smells Like a Dirty Pirate Hooker," and Other Things That Reek in New York City

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Four diligent, odor-scouting reporters at the Daily News were put to the task of smelling out the best- and worst-scented places in New York City. Making the list of things that smelled good in this investigative undertaking: BBQ, flowers, coffee, pastries, other delicious foodstuffs. Bad smells included poop and sometimes garbage, and sometimes garbage and poop (the NYC Sanitation Dept. on 131st and Lexington, the Owls Head Wastewater Treatment Plant in Bay Ridge, Fresh Kills landfill, the New York Organic Fertilizer depot, and the trash piles along Flushing Bay Promenade). You're kidding, those places smell bad?

Best quote so far this Monday (referring to Fresh Kills):

"It smells like a dirty pirate hooker," said Dave Kim, 27, who works in finance [where we are sure his way with words is wasted like so much trash in a landfill].

Unfortunately, no mention was made of the bad smells we face regularly, like the smell of the actual dirty pirate hooker (a/k/a, your neighbor with the questionable hygiene and/or all of us during a heat wave/World Cup final), or the putrid scent of the mouse colony that seems to have expired in the wall, or the unwashed person on the subway whose odor actually wins him the entire car to himself -- into which you step unwittingly and are stuck until 72nd Street -- or that odd, foul pigeon droppings smell that permeates the sidewalks year-round except in the most freezing of months. Or the ubiquitous smell they puff out of Subway sandwich shops.

But now that we know that poop smells bad, we all can do our darnedest to avoid it. As for our favorite New York smell, we quite like it when the whole town smells like maple syrup (remember that?). Failing that, a whiff of promise is always nice.

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