: Today, when I was down at the World Trade Center today talking with a French TV crew about the memorial competition (more on that later), I walked by an open gash in a building off West Street and I was struck by the smell. It was the first time I had smelled the smell in well over a year. It was that odor that overtook New York after the attacks, an odor of electricity gone mad, plastic turned bad, water, and concrete dust; it was the smell of September 11th. I turned to the TF-1 bureau chief, Loick Berrou, and asked whether he smelled it. He recognized it immediately: the smell of September 11th. It’s a flat smell, distinct and strong and, of course, unappealing but not disgusting. It opened scars in my lungs and my soul. The anniversary is approaching and I did not expect to smell the smell again.
I got back to the office and read James Lileks’ Bleat and he writes about that block and that building (scroll to the bottom).