OK, Iíve got a question for the long-time Angelenos in the house. Tell me about the smog. Because yeah, I can see it sometimes. But you know what I smell when I take a big, deep breath in LA. I smell flowers. I smell trees. Vegetation. Plant life. i.e. It smells GOOD.

Iím in NYC this weekend, and you know what I smell? Ashes. Bus fumes. Subway flatulence. Eau de bum. i.e It smells FOUL.

So whatís all the complaining about? Are people just confusing natural haze with pollution? Or is it that LA is bad, but NY is the pit of hell?

15 thoughts on “Smog?”

  1. The smog generally doesn’t get really bad until July/August. Once it hits, come to the San Gabriel Valley and take a deep breath if you can.

  2. Yeah, out-of-towners like to mistakenly point out the marine layer as smog often. But overall, the smog issue seems far less worse than when I was growing up. I remember multiple smog alerts per summer, and having my throat and lungs itch after skating or playhing hoops as a wee one. LA locals know what’s up tho…playa hatin’.

  3. Um, not to be a naysayer, but I’ve lived here seven years and didn’t notice anything…until I contracted asthma last year. My respiratory-specialist doc. says it’s common in people who move here from points east. And, keep in mind, I’m from Pittsburgh, which came in at #5 in the recent most-polluted list.

    So, no, you don’t smell it, taste it, even see it, but it is probably jacking up your lungs anyway. I have the inhaler to prove it. Sorry.

  4. Actually, the inhaler is kind of sexy in a geeky way, so I shouldn’t complain. Viva L.A.! (…wheeze…)

  5. It really isn’t that noticeable most times of the year, but yeah if you go to SGV or the Inland Empire in the middle of summer, it’s pretty bad. And IMHO there is a difference in the air in L.A. and, say, Santa Barbara.

    As far as the East Coast goes…there’s all that steam rising from the grates in the ground, and everything seems much closer together (at least Philadelphia (a.k.a. Filthadelphia) is like that – narrow streets and row houses). It definitely smells worse, but I don’t know if it actually is worse or not, health-wise.

  6. Ugh, Filthadelphia. I was just there recently, and it does smell like unwashed goat ass. I can’t really comment on L.A. air quality, since I live in a place that is bordered by the 5 freeway on one side, train tracks on another, and a major street on another. So I get nice big whiffs of sexy exhaust belched from the innards of big rigs driving past my apartment and fumes laced with road schmutz from a very heavily-traveled major freeway flying directly into my front window. I’m sure that each month that I live here shaves another 6 months off of my life. But those are the suckiest months at the end, anyway, so it’s not really that bad.

  7. I’ve been an LA native for practically all of my life (except the five year stint in UC Santa Barbara), and I don’t think I’ve really noticed the smog anymore. :P

  8. I’ve been out here since 1989, and the smog situation has definitely improved in that time. Last summer seemed pretty good, actually.

    Also, growing up in Oklahoma, I had terrible allergies, which mostly disappeared after I moved here.

  9. I lived in SF for a while and drove my motorcycle between the two cities many times. My most vivid memory of those rides was droping into the Los Angeles Basin from the Grapevine and smelling the change in the air. You really notice the smell of ‘Smell-A’ when your on a motorcycle and haven’t been here in a while.

  10. I don’t notice it unless I’m downtown, or in either SGV or SFV. Since I live just north of LB, and not in a valley, it doesn’t seem to get bad here. Or perhaps I’m desensitized since I’ve been here my whole life…? Also, I don’t need an inhaler, so not sure if that’s genetics in my favor, or being away from the valley…

  11. We were just up in SF this weekend. The air was so clear and crisp, blowing in right nice off the bay. We just kept huffing in the air dreading our ride back down the I-5.

    Speaking of, if anyone sees a silver Audi A4 driven by a goateed asshole, please do me a favor and cut his shit off. Give him a taste o’ the tail pipe.

  12. The original author is ridiculous for comparing the air quality of ANYWHERE to downtown Manhattan. Try venturing outside the epicenter of all cities and you’ll see what us east coasters are talking about by LA smogfest. Checks the facts & figures, not the flowers you silly panzy. Ethanol gasoline won’t save you now, it’ll just empty your wallet at $2.50 a gallon, haha! You’re still breathing pure shit, cough down that cancer!!

  13. At the risk of flames, I was born and raised in Boston, and didn’t realize cities had a smell until I sailed back into Boston harbor from a summer up in Maine. The image that leaped into my mind unbidden when we were a mile out was the hot smell of piss like you’d find in a greyhound restroom in the summer w/ no AC. Lived in LA (Wesayeed!) for ten years now, and only the pollen makes me sneeze in the spring.

  14. Sorry but LA has by far the worst air quality out of all of the major cities. I remember driving and looking back at all of the black smoke that hung in the air. Ugggghh. It was depressing.

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