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It was a humid summer evening in late August. I was strolling around Manhattan in no rush to get to my subway stop, when a vanilla ice-cream craving overtook me. To my delight, I turned a corner and found one of the many infamous Mr. Softee trucks sitting idly. I smiled at the man, and scoured the various sprinkle and dip combinations available to me, when my legs suddenly became immersed in a dense heat. I lost concentration, and looked down to find two wafts of toxic grey vapor, one from the sewer a foot away, and one from Mr. Softee’s tailpipe, morphing into a big noxious cloud at my feet. I decided against the cone, and instead took out my camera to dance with the emanations all around New York that night.
- An opening in the earth from which carbon dioxide and other gases escape, usually marking the last stage of volcanic activity.
- The gases escaping from such an opening.
[French, gaseous exhalation, from Italian moffetta, diminutive of muffa, mold, moldy smell, probably of Germanic origin.]
* Definition from The American HeritageÂ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright Â©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2003. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Segment Producer: Beth Botshon