What’s that bad smell? Travel impressions through the nose

I haven’t noticed it, but there’s a bad smell at the Greyhound bus station in Columbus. A woman got off the bus and noticed it. As she pointed out in this article, a bad smell the first thing someone gets off a bus is not the best way to make a good first impression. As a matter of fact. it’s hell on tourism.

A bad smell might give a person an idea to get back on the bus and head back out as quickly as possible. Considering that I wrote up a walking tour of Columbus with the idea that someone might come in on the bus, I’m hoping that the odor caused by old cooking grease from the bus station restaurant is dealt with soon.

Last time I took the bus to New York City, I stopped in a Port Authority bathroom before I headed to the subway and have to say thought that New York had really gone down. There was a terrible smell. Unfortunately the smell was connected to a person. That made me feel bad and indicates a much more serious problem than a grease receptacle that needs to be emptied more often. As wonderful as New York City is, and it is, the smells can be overwhelming for a person not used to pungent odors. New York streets are not the days when women spritzed lavender on handkerchiefs to put up to their noses when passing by particularly bad spots, but there are those whiffs that can make a person’s eyes water.

This June, a green market was started at Port Authority and is now held each Thursday as one way to create a better impression. What better smell is there than fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers?

In Columbus, which generally has a neutral smell, I don’t notice a difference from one block to the next, although there used to be a strong fresh baked bread smell near the Wonder Bread plant that could get overwhelmingly sweet depending on which way the wind blew. The plant was to close in May which has narrowed Columbus’s repertoire of olfactory experiences.


Made in America

Anyone nostalgic for a slice of Americana, MSN published a list of the Most Iconic US Brands:

  1. Louisville Slugger Baseball Bats
  2. Wonder Bread
  3. Harley-Davidson
  4. Benjamin Moore Paint
  5. The Frye Co Leather Boots
  6. Gibson Guitars
  7. Crayola Crayons
  8. Stetson Hats
  9. KitchenAid Mixer
  10. Lodge Cast Iron Skillets
  11. Ford Pick Up Trucks
  12. Woolrich Blankets

It would be interesting to see how foreigners would vote on the most iconic US brand. Something tells me we would see Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup on the list, too. As a European, I say that Wonder Bread would not make that list. I am sorry but Wonder Bread is simply not bread. Bread is not supposed to be stored in a fridge and last for weeks!

My vote goes, no question, to Harley Davidson. That is the single best American product, period. But that’s coming from a biker chick who likes real, fresh bread.