Smell of Philly: 57th and Baltimore Avenue
by Hikma Salhe
“Next stop: 57 and Baltimore Avenue.” The trolley driver announced as we drove up the street. I quickly pull at the chord and make my way over to the front of trolley. When the trolley comes to a stop, the driver opens the door and I rush out, ready to get home. I am greeted with the smell of fried chicken and hot oil, the stench overwhelming my senses. I walk through the park, and as I pass the slides, a foul smell made it’s way towards my nostrils. I can see a dog relieving itself a few steps away.”
In my neighborhood, I am constantly surrounded by a plethora of smells. In the summer time, the smell of barbecuing overwhelms the entire block. Charcoal burns, its smoke makes it way to unsuspecting noses of people walking around. In the winter, the air turns crisp and only the smell of car can be detected. And in the spring, the flowers begin to bloom, leaves start to grow, and the air is filled with the amazing scent of flowers. Spring time on 57th and Baltimore Avenue is a welcoming hug.
To most people, West Philly is the home to Clark Park, University City, and countless of restaurants. Many would identify this region of Philadelphia through landmarks and memories, but I can identify it through smell. Believe it or not, every neighborhood has a specific smell, one that can’t be replicated. Whether it’s the smell of gas and oil on 65th and Elmwood, or the smell of car fumes at the corner of 46th and Market; different streets and neighborhoods are accompanied by a smell.