With regard to Wonkette’s report on widespread city stink, the most likely culprit is the malodorous ginkgo seed, which the trees shed in late fall to early winter — to fall all over the sidewalk. The seed is encased in a fleshy berry-like layer called a sarcotesta, which contains butanoic acid — a chemical found in vomit, feces, and rancid butter. (And delicious parmesan cheese!)
You’ve probably had to step through a few layers of ginkgo while walking around for the last few weeks, thus carrying a sarcotesta-rrific fragrance on the soles of your shoes around the city, into your homes, offices, on to the Metro, and everywhere else. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and wipe your feet thoroughly before going indoors. Gladly, winter is arriving, and ginkgo seeds will not be dropping from the trees for much longer.