May 3, 2006
9/11 Redux: Deja Senti
I’m not sure if Deja Senti is a real phrase in French, but it should be. It’s at least the grammatical, if not idiomatic equivalent of Deja Vu, but for smells (literally “already smelled”).
That’s what it felt like coming home to Tribeca last night, after yesterday’s horrendous fire that destroyed seven abandoned warehouses in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, right across the East River from downtown.
It smelled just like it did on 9/11 and for three months afterward while Ground Zero’s rubble and oil tanks were still smoldering and spewing out a constant acrid smell across downtown. There are some kinds of Deja Senti that are quite pleasant — baking bread, campfires, fresh cut grass, even Elmer’s glue for some, but last night’s Deja Senti was just nauseating.
Thank goodness it’s mostly gone this morning — and even more so, thank goodness the “powers that be” have finally gotten their act together to really rebuild the World Trade Center. I can’t wait to see the Freedom Tower’s skeleton go up from our living room window this summer!