The Times notes several 311 calls from Manhattan complaining of a maple syrup smell in the air. A similar phenomenon had been reported in October of 2005, as was its disappearance, its December 2005 reemergence (this time “with Eggos, or pancakes,” per one complainant), and a similar sighting, or smelling, in Jersey the following month, as well as a nearly concurrent outbreak of a worse smell. The trail thereafter quickly grows cold, and we can imagine the circulation of a memo in the Times newsroom, telling reporters to knock it off, which may also reemerge if this story catches on again.
For the record, at Manhattan Avenue and Driggs yesterday afternoon the air smelled of Chloraseptic. We did not call 311, as we received only very late satisfaction from our complaints in that venue this spring and summer about the night construction at P.S. 110 (which only ceased when the weather turned cold), and intend henceforth to handle our civic problems vigilante-style, with industrial sprayers filled with peppermint if necessary.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 6, 2009