Frank Deis wrote:
A couple of days ago we were walking out to Tomales Point at the northern tip of the island at Point Reyes State Seashore in California. This is a triangle of land which is on the Pacific plate, and has been sliding up the coastline of California at the average rate of 2 inches per year. The movement happens in jolts, though, during earthquakes, and we saw where a fence had been split into two sections 16 feet apart during the 1906 quake.
Walking out to Tomales Point (we didn't make it all the way there) the 2 dominant impressions, at least this week, were 1) the scenery is just astonishingly beautiful, stark cliffs, blue waves breaking far below, rocks and islands, hard to describe, and 2) the SMELL was overwhelming, there were all sorts of flowers and plants covering the hillsides and it was like being in a perfume shop, a constant strong scent the whole way. Occasionally you saw some Tule Elk here and there, which added to the impact of the walk. And you saw vultures all around you, above and below, and during the walk back I had the sense that they were really kind of checking me out. Not yet, guys.
There have been lots of really good smells in California. I wonder if you can think of examples elsewhere??
Frank Deis wrote:Many parts of SF smell good, particularly the parks, but it's a big city and the urine smell comes and goes. I don't remember that in Boston. Maybe I stuck to the "good" neighborhoods in Boston.
Frank Deis wrote:...on so many street corners there are hawkers roasting chestnuts or heating soft pretzels, and those smells, the roasted and burned chestnuts particularly, are kind of romantic. ...
Robin Garr wrote:You should have gotten over to Greek Astoria, where there's a souvlaki man grilling lamb chunks over charcoal on every corner.
Max Hauser wrote:Seasonal flowers etc. aside, natural smells around N. America also reflect overall Northern-Hemisphere macro-meteorology...Along the Pacific coasts in N. America, refreshed air normally arrives flowing eastbound...
Mark Lipton wrote: There are those who would claim that the "minty" character of some of the wines from Napa and Sonoma is the result of the eucalyptus growing locally...
Frank Deis wrote:And in the fall, trains would come in from all over Virginia and maybe North Carolina with cars packed with tobacco leaves. I suspect that even tobacco-haters might have enjoyed that, because this was un-smoked tobacco. As a little kid -- my dad smoked a pipe for a while, and I loved to stick my nose into the round tobacco tin. Sometimes it was "Cherry Blend" and it just smelled great to me (even though I hated the smoke at family gatherings). Probably it's like how some people (including the young me) love the smell of roasted coffee beans but can't take the bitter flavor of brewed coffee. At any rate, for at least a couple of weeks, the air everywhere smelled like my dad's tobacco tin.
Mike Filigenzi wrote:Near my in-laws' place in Green Bay, there's a pickle factory which definitely lends an interesting smell to the neighborhood, at least when the wind is blowing in the right direction.
Another place that had a distinctive smell was the area in Monrovia, CA where I had my first laboratory job. There was a smokehouse nearby and the place often smelled like ham or bacon. That was hard to ignore...
Mark Lipton wrote:
And of course that brings to mind the notorious smell of Coalinga, CA, where the cattle stockyards lend a particular nuance to the air.
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:How can one ignore Northern New Jersey -- all kinds of industry including tanneries. That is a smelly business.
Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Northern New Jersey is really a different state from the rest of New Jersey.