The days are warmer. Here in the mess of pavement and concrete I regretfully call my neighbourhood, the sweet smell of the sewer, is all I have to remind me that spring is fast growing into summer. Others get the smell of fresh new plant life; I get the smell of shit.
In the winter it’s better. Then, the relatively warm air of the sewers quickly passes straight up from various openings and dissipates in short time in the cold air above. If you time your breathing to exhale as you pass over sewer grates you can, for the most part, avoid the gases. In late spring, summer and early fall, however, this strategy will fail you. As the air above the waste water is much warmer, the air from the passages below, only creeps up to street level and hovers there creating a blanket of invisible nauseating fog.
Some small parks or gardens or yards filled with trees would probably help to soak up some of that shit-fog, but in the 1 square kilometer area that I would say constitutes my neighbourhood, I can count on my fingers the number of trees there are.
Up until recently, there had been one property in the neighbourhood that had only a small three-room house on it, allowing a decent sized yard with lots of trees, flowers and grass.
But some asshole realized that that wasn’t a very profitable use of the land, so the house and the yard along with all its greenery were bulldozed and a unit of the cheap, poorly constructed garbage that passes for modern housing here was put up in its stead.
There are, in fact, a handful of nice parks in the city, but they are so few and in such stark contrast to the majority of the land in the city that they serve only as oases in a desert of filth.
So with no move towards an urban development standard with an eye towards greenspace coming any time soon, I guess people will just have to learn to love the shit-fog.
[Note: I did have pictures of the green property before and after it was changed, which I had hoped to use for this post, but I lost them.]
[Note 2: Since I have no pictures, the “garbage that passes for modern housing” can be imagined thusly: a cardboard box on six stilts (to create parking space underneath) with a few small holes cut into it for windows.]
[Note 3: I live in one of those boxes on stilts.]