Seen & Heard: A Sickly-Sweet Smell

••• A question from S.: “At the southwest corner of Franklin and Varick, there is a pretty strong sickly-sweet odor, something akin to gingerbread air freshener. I remember this same odor at this same corner when I first moved here in the late seventies. It stuck around for a number of years, then disappeared. Now it’s back. Do you or anybody else have any idea what it is?”

••• Does the Google ad on this site (right column, under the Restaurant Guide icon), automatically play sound for anyone?

••• Sharon Jones will be at Barnes & Noble Tribeca on Dec. 10 signing copies of her new CD with the Dap-Kings, It’s a Holiday Soul Party! She and I have the same motto: Dance like everyone’s watching. And it’s really saying something that Prince, whom I idolize, isn’t remotely the best part of this video.

••• Heard a rumor the other day that 315 Spring (at Greenwich), where Wyeth is, will be converted to a hotel. Nothing on the DOB site yet, but it would explain why Wyeth is opening another store nearby.

••• Walking by 49-51 Chambers the other night, I wondered what will become of the grand lobby (it’s not currently in use, I think—at least when you go into the building’s east or west entrance, you never see it) after the building is converted to condos. The Schedule A on the Department of Buildings site says the first floor will go from offices to a residential lobby and retail space. I hope it’s retail so the public gets to enjoy it.

49-51 Chambers••• The ARChive of Contemporary Music’s holiday record and CD sale is coming up. Details below.

ARChive of Contemporary Music



  1. My guess is the smell at Varick & Franklin may be coming from the building on Leonard just off Varick which is a spice import/export business. The smell does seem to come and go.