Thursday, August 24, 2006

Jim's Steaks

There is always a line-up a Jim's, and often a car will stop me to ask where this Jim's is. I haven't been, but you can't miss it. Between the line-up, and the scent, which is everywhere. Meat. Grilling meat. Not unpleasant unless you are vegetarian, in which case, well, its very unpleasant. Neighbourhoods have their smells: I've had paper mill, an expressway, McDonald's and Shell, swimming pool and bar. In Vancouver, at the foot of Commercial Drive there is a chicken "processing" plant which stunk up the hood for years. The Lower East Side has similar plants, though I hear they are illegal. Atlantic & Flatbush has its exhaust and sweat, I'm sure of it, human sweat. State Street had pee, human and dog mixed. New Brunswick, New Jersey, home of Johnson & Johnson, has its chemicals: fabric softened rivers, detergent air. One of my old Toronto neighbourhoods was not far from a Cadbury's Chocolate plant which was a better scent I have to say, though earth is by far my favourite neighbourhood smell, or ocean, or vast tracts of cedar and fir...and this morning we have the scent of a garden, still luxuriating in the rough trade applied from a night of dramatic rain. Just think of it, all those ferns bumping up against each other all night long. What must the neighbours think?

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