I’ve written this piece for the blog series by Teagan Geneviene about the senses. You can read her piece and find links to or pieces by other writers in the comments at the following link.


A combination of smells drifts to my nose. Apartment buildings rise on both sides as I stroll.

There are additions now required for urban life–window bars and fire escapes.

When I stop at one point, the early morning chemical smell of gasoline is noticeable. It’s leaked from older cars commuters here still cling to and drive to work.

This neighborhood is now home to Indian families. There are still some Italian families, but not as many as in former years. The remaining apartments contain a variety of renters.

Out of the Indian windows drifts the sweet odor of incense from each  morning puja. From the Italian windows drifts a different scent. It’s oregano mixed with fresh tomatoes and green peppers.

I walk a little further and pick up the stronger odor of putrid waste water rising from the manhole of a backed-up sewer. The city workers will soon arrive.

A recent downpour brought the not-unpleasant odor of wet blacktop.

The morning sun beats down on the corner. There it’s the smell of hot blacktop, also not unpleasant. A city nose becomes accustomed to all these odors.



Written Act of Kindness Award



12 thoughts on “THE CITY STREET

    • Thanks, Ali. When my dad moved us 15 miles from the city when I was 9, I really missed the smell of wet blacktop and the sound of a train whistle. We moved to a lovely spot but it was too quiet. Of course having now lived in India I sometimes miss that quiet. 🙂 — Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh, I love oregano. Your story has made me hungry. I wish I had a delicious pizza in front of me right now. Of course, it would make it harder to write this comment. It’s not easy to type on a pizza. 🙂


    • Thanks, Diana. I’m so pleased I succeeded in thoroughly describing city smells on that virtual street. I was born in the city and missed it when we moved 15 miles out. The smell of wet blacktop and pavement always brought the city back. I also missed the sound of trains. Even in India when I hear a train I remember. It was a neighborhood where everyone knew everyone else and kids used to go in and out of other kids houses. Mothers used to go onto the front porches and call kids for meals. 🙂 — Suzanne

      Liked by 1 person

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