Dec 2, 2007

Esmog Primo


That's Chilango-ese for "really good smog." Erica had commented about Mark's hometown smog and I rejoined with the praises for the Chateaubriand of Smogs, the piquant, stout, almost chewy goodness only found in La Taza. Like air-born Guinness, it's thick and opaque, with a nice foamy head at the top where the inversion layer prevents it from escaping from the walled-in valley.


The Bowl is so bad, or at least it was many years ago, that lesser mortals would almost faint upon arrival in Mexico City. A mile and a half high, there's precious little air to breathe as it is.


One morning while residing there, my family woke up with headaches. Gas leak! Well, after opening up all the windows I made sure the water heater and stove tank was off. Then we watched the news only to realize that we needed to close our windows immediately. Seems that a gasoline pipeline had sent too much gas to an already stocked tank. The remaining 33,000 gallons were torched off in a large spill-field. Lovely. Birds fell from the trees.

What made the smog so wonderful? Diesel fuel! Old trucks! Volkswagen Beetles! (They still made them new there.) 20 million people and their cars! That's like taking the entire population of Florida, doubling it, then putting everyone into the Jacksonville City Limits, raise it up 7500 feet and build 4,000 foot walls all around.

Add warm, internal combustion engines, generators, power plants, then top it with a cold layer of air above. (Which, by the way, it was almost always cold there. Only about 4 weeks of the year I didn't need the electric blanket at night.) Thermal Inversion is what made the smog age to a sharp and robust rind of grime throughout the city.

But the whole thing of burning tires during the holidays was just about the last straw. It was outlawed (heh. Like anything is outlawed in Mexico...) because of ---health concerns. Uncut premium smog.

All this, and without the cheap dilution of sea-fog such as is found in Mark's *snort!* "City".

I added this pic because Mark doesn't think his city has smog...

8 comments:

Mark said...

Hey, looks like Brooklyn and Newark on a good day...

Oswegan said...

Nice, we probably get all of their chemicals in our rain.

~Oswegan

Erica said...

Yes, you’re right, Mark. That is exactly like Newark and Brooklyn on a good day. What was I thinking? Must have been a smog-induced brainfart.

Mark said...

That's not smog. It's fog. LA has smog. Sheesh.

Hey Erica, what kind of filter did you use on the lens to take those pics?

;o)>

Joan of Argghh! said...

Hey, Mark, take it up with ABC news. They say it's smog. Not like they're a paragon of reliability, however!
:o)

nonny said...

Wow it is cool. Obviously not I am not referring to the detriment it does to the environment just the photo that is cool.

Mark said...

SEE?? Nonny says SF IS COOL! Whoot!

Hey, let me have my one little moment here, fer cryin' out loud!

;o)>

Joan of Argghh! said...

So, my internet is down, Mark. Enjoy your moment in the sun.

Might be many moments...

Sigh.