New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Staff Rants: NYC Smells

Sometimes New York boasts the intoxicating aroma of dollar pizza, while other times it’s the stink of a busted sewer line. Here at WSN, we’ve smelt them all.
Grace Halio

On Mango Juul Juice
Melanie Pineda, Opinion Editor

There are much worse smells in New York than juuls, but none quite as obnoxious. This rant goes out to every single one of you angsty 2013 Tumblr-era kids that stand outside of Bobst all day rather than, I don’t know, going to class. Or calling your mom. Or doing literally anything else. Yes I know this is going to make me sound like a grandma, but after three years at this school, enough is enough. I get that your mango-flavored juul is one of —  if not the most — important thing in your life right now, and juuling by Bobst fills some sort of weird aesthetic for y’all, but that doesn’t mean you have to constantly blow your vapor in my face. Do what you want in your free time, but please do so at least three feet away from me.

On Sewer Sludge
Hannah Khosravi, Opinion Editor

Last fall, we all experienced an onslaught of heavy, inundating rain. It was the kind of man-versus-umbrella rain that soaks through your soul, rendering you helpless and shaky and waterlogged by the time you get to your class at 194 Mercer St. On one of these gloomy afternoons, I ran into my apartment, threw my umbrella down in the corner and went to dry my hair in the bathroom. As I went down the stairs of my duplex, I saw a puddle of water creeping out from under my roommate’s door. Was it a leak? Nope. Turns out the sewer lines under our building had exploded, thanks to swelling from the rainstorm, and the water was rising through our floor from beneath the ground. Within an hour, the whole floor was submerged. And as for my roommate’s humongous Persian rug? We ended up carrying that bad boy, soaked through with foul-smelling sewer water, into the corridor of our apartment building so that it could be disposed of. Thanks to sewer-rug, the entrance and hallway of the building reeked of festering mold. And for lack of a better description, the whole building smelled like literal poop. The toilet smell percolated until our building manager finally got someone to remove the offending device. Later that week, I had two friends visit — one from California and one from Connecticut. Explaining why my apartment building smelled like sewage was a long story, but I can’t imagine a better welcome-to-New-York odor than subway-line sewer-stink anyway — very New York, and only slightly nauseating. This is city living, my friends.

(Suffice it to say, we don’t live there anymore. That, however, is a story for another day.)

On Shake Shack Sadness
Bela Kirpalani, Deputy Managing Editor

Every time I walk past the Shake Shack on Astor Place, my body shudders with disgust. A hot wave envelopes me, filling my nostrils with the smell of cheeseburgers and fried food. To others, this may seem heavenly. But to me, a non-beef eater and a person who does not particularly enjoy fast food, the experience is a foul one. Due to the combination of heat, stink and small bout of nausea it brings me, I often try to speed past the burger chain, or avoid it altogether on my way to campus. I fear this confession will garner me unnecessary hate, but I felt the need to speak my smelly truth. Let the hating begin.

On Humid Garbage Air
Sarah John, Deputy Opinion Editor

When I came to NYU in August, I thought my first week here might end up being my last as well; something about city life seemed unbearable even within those first few days. I’m not talking about the never-ending honking and sirens, the humidity or the infamous rudeness that so many New Yorkers possess —  I was prepared for all those so-called features of the city. No, I’m talking about that constant summer feeling of hot, moist garbage air moving into my nostrils. That’s right: hot, moist garbage air. All across New York. Why? Why do we let ourselves live like this, New York? Who hurt us?

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email the WSN Staff at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Grace Halio
Grace Halio, Editor-at-Large
Grace Halio has spent the past three years working at WSN because her job has an actual title, unlike her concentration in Gallatin. She's studying how journalism and public art can be narratives for social and climate injustice, but has a soft spot in her heart for New York Fashion Week and all things Features Desk. A Long Island native, she could likely live off of bagels. Grace spent her spring 2016 semester studying in Florence, Italy. Unfortunately, she did not turn into Lizzie McGuire; fortunately, she ate a lot of cheese. She looks forward to returning to the motherland. In the meantime, however, you can find her fighting for the necessity of the oxford comma and making pasta for dinner six nights a week. Follow her on Twitter to see her creative 140 character complaints or on Instagram to take a peek at how she spends her free time.

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