That Awful Smell on Broome Street? Mystery Solved!

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There are lots of great things about summer in the city. The rotting odor wafting up from the street is not one of them.  On the Lower East Side, most everyone would agree that Broome Street, near Allen, smells particularly awful just about any time of the year, but especially in the dog days of July and August. New York Magazine reporter Molly Young decided it was time to launch an investigation (someone has too much time on her hands).

It’s an entertaining piece, but let’s cut to the chase. The smell, Molly learned, was apparently emanating from 284 Broome Street, Yu & Qiang Trading Inc., some sort of poultry-related business.  One theory: this place was keeping live chickens!  In response to the magazine’s persistent nudging, state inspectors looked into the situation:

…the Agriculture Department conducted an unannounced inspection last week. What they found, according to spokesperson Jessica Ziehm, was a big nothing: no live chickens and no evidence of live chickens. No live ducks, turkeys, pigeons, or any other kind of edible, respirating creature, either. The bad smell appeared to come from “stacked boxes of processed poultry sitting in the warmth.” Gross, but not illegal. Yu & Qiang Trading Inc. continues to enjoy a lively summer season, smell be damned. Chicken costs 93 cents a pound.

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