Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The 12 Scents of Spring

Today as I convalesce from the plague I caught from Howard I have allowed myself to open the windows, as you can observe in the picture above. It feels like spring! And it smells like spring too.

There are those who gripe because summer is not coming fast enough for them but really, it is rare to have a nice spring day like this in Buffalo. Usually our days are either total summer or total winter. But today it is spring.

Here are 12 spring smells I love in Buffalo.

1.) The smell of roasting coffee from McCullagh Coffee. Every time I smell this downtown I realize how lucky we are.

2.) The sugar smell from the Cheerios plant. Another downtown smell we are lucky to have when other cities have smells not nearly as attractive. How would you like to live on Staten Island where the local business is garbage? Think about that.

3.) The zoo. Not everyone would consider this smell attractive but to me it means spring. When the zoo smell starts drifting all over the city you know that the winter is over and gone.

4.) Other people's grills. I normally do not get my act together to get mine going until August but in the meantime I feast vicariously on the smell of the grills from my neighbors' back yards. Just like in the winter I like the smells from other people's fireplaces even though I cannot get my act together to get my own fireplace going.

5.) Cigars. When you catch the scent of a cigar that is a summer smell and I welcome it, though Leonard Pennario did not and we argued briefly about that.

6.) Beer. It is spring when you pass a bar and the doors are open and you smell beer. At least Pennario did like his beer now and then.

7.) Musty old-house smell. You do not realize how summery this is until you smell it drifting out from indoors. You can smell it a lot in Allentown because the houses are close to the sidewalk. Mmmmmmm. In a pinch you can go looking for this smell at an antique shop.

8.) Pizza and chicken wing grease. Stop outside a pizzeria and inhale. Remember when pizzerias were called pizza parlors? We used to have a classic one, Giuseppe's, out in Snyder when I grew up. Dark booths, jukeboxes, disreputable characters hanging out, our parents frowning on our going in. Those were the days.

9.) Gas at the gas station. People are sharply divided over this smell. You love it or hate it. I love it. To my parents' distress when I was a kid I also loved the smell of car exhaust.

10.) The first time you cut the grass. That has not happened yet.

11.) I was going to stop at 10 but what about when you pass those big refinery tanks and you smell that stinky smell? Surely then it is spring. And if you are not sure you can always drive down Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls.

12. Those first chives, in the garden! They are already here.
As they say in "A Room With a View"... Inhale, my dear!

Spring brings out the poet in all of us.


Mike Miller said...

Mary, you kill me! Liking the smell of exhaust fumes. Too funny!

I remember as a kid, driving by the refineries that used to be next to the 190 northbound. They smelled like either boiling ham on a good day or rotten eggs on a bad day.

Mary Kunz Goldman said...

Mike, I love your refinery memories! When I was a kid we loved/hated to go down Buffalo Avenue. We called it "pew lane" because we'd cover our noses and go "Pew!"

Mike Miller said...

There's probably a fair amount of brain damage that comes with growing up in Buffalo! :)

Unknown said...

I have to say, I also remember the refineries also and the smell for sure!!!!