New York Smells

Today, the New York City authorities were investigating a persistent smell of “gas” across a large part of the lower Manhattan area of the city.

Hundreds of people reported the odd, but apparently not noxious smell, to the New York Police Department, but at the time of writing the identity of the gas remained unknown. Despite this, Mayor Michael Bloomberg somehow manages to make confident proclamations that the gas is “not dangerous”.

Over on Digg, a heated debate has been raging since the first news of the mystery smell was released on an unsuspecting public. Some members of the so-called online “news” community, claim to live in NYC and that there is no smell. Others muse that Howard Stern is to blame, while yet others are confused as to whether this represents a homeland security issue.

Some New Yorkers are saying the gas smells of gasoline (petrol to those of us this side of the pond), while others reckon it’s more like natural gas (methane, of course, has no odour so a very strong smelling sulfur-containing compound – mercaptan – is added in tiny amounts to give it a smell).

The BBC reported that the source was across the Hudson River in New Jersey, where officials said a natural gas leak originating in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, had occurred.

New York, new york, so good they named it twice…