NYC is a Scary Place, Sometimes!

It’s not just me.

I’ve been smelling gas this morning, and it’s been freaking me out. I smelled gas before once, and called the Con Ed number you’re supposed to call, and they sent the fire department who didn’t smell a thing and seemed very annoyed about it. So I was feeling hesistant about calling anyone again. What if it’s just me again?

But it’s all over the news. I keep hearing that they found a leak at W. 4th and Bleeker, which doesn’t make sense because those streets are parallel. I also heard 10th and Bleeker. In any case, I live at Perry and Bleeker, so hearing Bleeker, Bleeker, Bleeker is not comforting. The NYPD is denying that they’ve found a leak.

I closed the windows, brushed my teeth and got out of my pj’s (I’m home writing today). It’s my version of the whole putting on clean underwear because what if you get into an accident thing. If we all blow up in some gas explosion, at least I won’t be found unclean and still in my pj’s at this hour.

Update: The OEM is not confirming the source of the odor. The Mayor is supposed to address the city in a few minutes.

Update 2: The OEM is now saying there is something going on at W. 4th and Bleeker. Have to find this intersection, I thought they didn’t meet, but even though I’ve been living here 30 years I still get confused.

I keep hearing emergency vehicles going by, though, so it’s around here somewhere.

Update 3: The sound of emergency vehicles is increasing.

Update 4: Either I’m getting used to it, or it’s because I closed the windows, but I’m smelling it less. The news keep saying W. 4th and Bleeker, which is bugging me. I keep hearing sirens. Where is the Mayor?? (It’s hard not to think “terrorism.” Not to be alarmist. It’s probably not.)

Update 5: Here’s the Mayor. They found a small leak at 6th and Bleeker (thank you Mayor, for at least knowing the geography of the city, unlike everyone else apparently). But it’s a small one, so that can’t be the source of the smell. Ah. Just learned a new fact. Natural gas does not have a smell, so what we might be smelling is … I missed it. An additive. So, they don’t know what it is yet. Con Ed has not found a drop in pressure that would identify the source of a gas leak.

Update 6: That was a reassuring press conference. I mean, they still don’t know what’s going on, which is not ideal, but nonetheless, I feel a little calmer.

Update 7: Now everyone in New York is an expert about mercapton and thermal inversion, and what not. Actually, I love all the little factoids we pick up whenever the news latches onto a story. It’s noon, and I don’t smell the gas anymore. The story about all the birds dropping dead in Austin is creeping me out now.

I should start a new blog: What is Creeping Me Out at the Moment. (Sirens all over the place again. Okay, they’re gone now. Heading away. The emergency is elsewhere.)

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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