When I first got my cat, a rescue from the streets of Kensington, he wasn’t exactly house-broken. It took five weeks, three Craigslist futon cushions and two rubber sheets before the little dude learned how to properly use the litter box. This is why I am sympathetic to the residents of South Philadelphia who are up in arms over a recent assault on their senses. According to the Passyunk Post, the pervasive aroma of cat urine has been wafting through the streets south of Snyder.
It’s gross — there’s no arguing there.
But is it the stinkiest spot in Philadelphia? There are quite a few contenders for that not-so-highly-coveted crown. Here, I’ve broken down the smelliest place in Philadelphia. And since this is 2014 and this is the Internet, I’ve translated these locations and smells into emojis. (Too bad Philadelphia doesn’t have it’s own emojis yet.)
South of Snyder Street, West of Broad Street
What it can smell like: Cat pee.
When it’s the stinkiest: Thanks to a New Jersey power plant, it depends on the way the wind blows.
Sansom Street between Broad and 13th streets
What it can smell like: The block, which is unrelatedly best known as home to Chris’ Jazz Cafe and Time, can smell of sewage and Dumpsters.
When it’s the stinkiest: Though this location inexplicably reeks all year round, it is most noticeable in the mornings before trash day.
The Broad Street Line
What it can smell like: Sweat, urine and fried food.
When it’s the stinkiest: Although sweat is arguably the least offensive smell on the above list, riding the Broad Street Line after the Broad Street Run is one of the most horrifying situations a human being can endure. There is not enough deodorant in the world to mask that stench. (Related reading: 10 Commandments of Riding SEPTA in a Heat Wave.)
Race Street between Ninth and 11th
What it can smell like: Though other parts of Chinatown, due to a preponderance of restaurants and resultant food trash, can occasionally get a little, ahem, fragrant, these particular blocks smell of fish.
When it’s the stinkiest: All day, err’day.
19th and Fairmount
What it can smell like: There’s no classy was to say this. This location — or any other spot in the city with Pyrus calleryana trees — smells like, well, sex.
When it’s the stinkiest: Springtime. It’s for Hitler, Germany, and the ickiest plants in the world.
What it can smell like: Horse poop on hot sidewalks.
When it’s the stinkiest: When Will Smith said, “the place called the plateau is where everybody go” in “Summertime” he failed to mention that people go because it’s really far away from this particular stench.
What it smells like: Rotten fruit.
When it’s the stinkiest: The hotter it gets, the squishier the peaches get. Never a good sign.
Any Cavanaugh’s Bar
What it smells like: Desperation and Axe Body Spray.
When it’s the stinkiest: 1:55 a.m. on a Saturday night.
Something stink in your neighborhood? Tell @errrica on Twitter.