Is It Really That Bad?

August 13, 2008 by
Filed under: Greenpoint Magic 

(The stench at Nassau Avenue, that is.)

After listening to a city employee shout at her cohort Friday night on the Crosstown Local:

Hey, are you familiar with this stop? It stinks. It smells like (expletive) sewage or something! (Waving hand in front of nose) NASTY!

And learning about this missive on Craigslist I decided to head down to the Nassau Avenue stop of the G and see smell for myself. It was pretty bad. Even by Greenpoint standards. And before I continue, let me explain to you what the previous entails:

  1. Miss Heather leaving her apartment Tuesday, August 12, 2008: Smells like someone pissed behind our stoop again. Or was it the vestibule of our building? I can’t tell.
  2. Miss Heather on McGuinness Boulevard at Dupont Street, Monday, August 11, 2008: Gee, the sewage treatment plant is particularly ripe today.
  3. I have looked at (and occasionally stepped in) dog shit damned near every day for over two years.
  4. I have survived the McGolrick Park crapper of death.

Over the years I have developed a palette for stink. It comes with living in Greenpoint. Oenophiles often invoke terms such as “berrylike”, “astringent”, “citrusy”, “peppery”, “prickly” or “oxidized” to praise or pan the wines before them. I will endeavor to use some of their terminology to describe what I smelled at Nassau Avenue:


Descriptive of wines smells that have a rough, puckery taste. Usually can be attributed to high tannin content. Tannic astringency will normally decrease with age. However, sometimes the wine fails to outlive the tannin.



The initial impact of a wine smell. If not strong or flavorful, the wine is considered “feeble”. “Feeble” wines are sometimes encountered among those vinified in a year where late rain just before harvest diluted desirable grape content.

What I smelled was hardly feeble. In fact it was…


Powerful, attack aroma. Usually denotes high level of acidity, alcohol and/or other flavor faults. (Like piss and sewage— Ed. Note.)

with a hint of…


Smell of Hydrogen Sulfide gas in wine. Thought to be a characteristic imparted by certain yeast strains. A decided flaw.

Simply put, it was gross.

Much has been made of aromatherapy. Pleasing scents are purported to help healing. So Psychology Today says, anyway. What about aromaterrorism? Has anyone done any research as to what the effect foul odors have on one’s psyche? Probably, but I suspect this poster will suffice.

A mind soul is a terrible thing to waste.

Miss Heather


One Comment on Is It Really That Bad?

  1. rowan on Wed, 13th Aug 2008 1:26 pm
  2. apparently that stench has arms and legs. circa 10pm last night i was transferring from the V at 23rd-Ely to the G at Court Square. i walked down the stairs to wait on the G platform and the smell hit me in the face like all the rotten eggs in the world. strangely enough, Greenpoint Ave on the G does not smell, nor did 21st Street. this Odor Ogre must skip stops.

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