Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Smell This: City Inspector Confuses Smell of Cabbage for Stench of Oil

December 27th, 2006 · No Comments

Roebling Oil1

The Williamsburg development called McCarren Park Mews at N. 10th and Roebling on the vile and frightening interesting site we like to call the Roebling Oil Field is a gift that keeps on giving. A reader commented after our post last week about the drilling rig crane at the site:

I live right around the corner from there and called 311 to complain about the stink. A couple days later an inspector showed up, went to my next-door neighbor’s building (just a normal building) and said that I had called in about a smell coming from THAT building! There is a stinky cabbage processing plant on one corner and that oil-filled field on the other and the inspector was such an incompetent moron (with no sense of smell) that he just picked a random building and questioned them about their odor. Of course I wasn’t home and they never contacted me again.

Our own impression has been that there is no oversight of the cleanup of this nasty and toxic horror excellent real estate opportunity. The image of a city inspector unable to spot the overpowering smell coming from the site and picking a building at random is as priceless in an oddly comic as it is scary.

Oh well. Thank you for calling 311, and have a nice day.

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