Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Smells of a City

I've been commuting to and from work via bicycle for nearly a year now. Surprisingly, the weather permits most days, excluding the coldest days in January and February and the hottest in July. I get to work faster but things go a little slower. Slow enough that my nose is taken on a journey of smells through Somerville, Cambridge, Boston, and finally Brookline. It's mostly Cambridge that smells. There's garbage day, which is a bad scene. Then the day everything smelled like old fish. Whenever a diesel truck passes me, I'm brought back to Thailand. Something about the humidity level and that gust of pollution that takes me there. For several weeks in June, everything smelled like jasmine. One brilliant day a few weeks ago when I turned on to Massachusetts Avenue I smelled something sweet like marshmallows or doughnuts and then one block later it changed to vinegar. And not just any vinegar, distilled white vinegar, something used to clean things. Then as I was crossing over from Cambridge to Somerville, I could smell chocolate. The Taza Chocolate factory is a couple blocks away and I could smell them making their delicious Mexican chocolate.