Broome Street Named ‘Smelliest Block In New York’


broome-streetThe summer stench is upon us and it’s only June. Broome Street, between Eldridge and Allen, has been given the dubious distinction of being the ‘smelliest block’ in town by New York Magazine.

“It’s the worst,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.

“Something rotting, sewage. Something, more like sewage I think,” one man described.

There are some food wholesalers in the area who insist they hose down and use bleach, but the smell just doesn’t go away. People in the area have pointed to wholesaler Yu and Qiang as the main culprit.

However, manager Ken Chen disputed the notion, saying the whole area smells.

“There’s no single source, you know, it’s a problem with this neighborhood. I mean, there are a lot of restaurants here,” Chen said.

Others in the community said they also tried to hose down the street to get rid of the stink to no avail.

“The smell always comes back,” one man said.

Another resident of the neighborhood told Papa, the Broome Street smell wasn’t even the worst of it.

“You’re on the wrong block, you should go down to Grand Street,” she said, “It smells like rotting fish.”

{1010 WINS/ Newscenter}


  1. Wherever there are certain types of markets, you have these atrocious odors. I pity the mispallelim who have to cope with the smell when they go to daven on a 90+ degree Shabbos morning, and I pity the Italians who come in the summer for their processions/feasts who have to deal with the smell. It is also very smelly on Avenue U between CI Avenue and east 16 Street, and on Bay Parkway in Bensonhurst (the new Chinatown).

  2. That’s terrible. I have many fond memories of Broome St, as my family owned a business there for many years- on the corner of Broome St and Allen. There were so many frum stores nearby. And ahh, the East Side Guss’s pickles were the best!

  3. When people go and daven at Eldridge Street Shul, which is right in Chinatown, the smell is terrible. Chinatown has subsumed both Little Italy and much of the Jewish LES.

    Very suave how they edited out ‘Chinese markets.’ Some things are undeniable (Chinese stores smell due to the poor refirgeration of seafood, treifos, etc.; Arabs brought down the Twin Towers, etc.)

  4. Hmmmmm! I wonder who Oy Vey is? Because my uncles owned a store for decades, and my Bubby worked there for many yers as well, on the corner of Broome and Allen! Could we be related?

  5. I still remeber the laughing doll in the store. I don’t know if it was always there but I remeber it from there. Probably another of your uncle’s never ending shtick. Hahh. What memories

  6. Yes, that’s the one! And we already figured out how we’re related! I wonder who you are!?!

    Yes, Uncle Yankel Ostrov, O”H, was always good for a laugh!

  7. and I remember being there when Rebbetzin Scheinberg, aleha hashalom, and Rebbetzin Altusky, shetichyeh, were shopping there, “hondling” the prices. Uncle Yankel must have ripped up the bill at least three times until the final bill was agreed upon. Rav Scheinberg was waiting outside in the car. He kept on coming in from the car, getting buzzed in each time to find out when they were finished. He eventually left them there while he went to daven Mincha in MTJ. I hopped in the car and went along.

  8. cousin yankel was my grandmother’s 1st cousin. when I was a kid when ever i went in to the store Yankel always insisted that he take me somewhere to eat or give me money to buy a danish from gertel’s. when i got married & my wife was looking for a certain kind of tablecloth yankel insisted that he take us to another store in order that we should get the very best prices. “the good old days”.

  9. Ahhh. Good old JO.
    I remember him coming into MTJ showing Reb David shlit”a his latest toys.
    By the way, is Chicago in the midwest? (I know it’s west of the holland tunnel)

  10. Yes, east sider, I believe Chicago is in the Midwest. You obviously know who I am. Do you care to share your identity? If you were able to connect me in Chicago to this story, then you probably know where my email address is published regularly in national media. Why don’t you look it up and shoot me an email?

  11. ok, I figured out who former flatbusher is, Tante Chana’s grandchild, and east sider must be from Beit Shemesh!

  12. And Oy Vey is my sister! What fond memores of walking around that area. The people were so vibrant and the air was filled with so much history.
    We loved walking around the streets and going into the bustling Garden Cafeteria or waiting on line in the freezIng cold with a quarter for a pickle….

  13. Aha! The plot thickens! Maybe Matzav can hook up to a geniology service, and we can all work this out!!

    My wife (Oy Vey) is one of many sisters, ka’h, who’s mother grew up on the old East Side. Nostalgic is one of those sisters. East Side Midwesterner is married to another!

    So now did you figure us out yet?

  14. to eastside midwesterner: if my memory serves me correct, my great grandfather married meyer ostrov’s sister. to give you a hint who we are our family lived & lives in lakewood. and let me be so bold to ask if you are one of cousin shmully’s children from detroit?

  15. I’ll respond for him. You are very close, but not quite there yet. You have the correct Ostrov brother (Yitzchok Yona, o’h) but wrong family of descendants. To us, he’s Uncle Shmuelly from Detroit.

  16. Gee. I feel so left out. I’m not related to any of you guys. Just an innocent bystander. (And former neighbor)

  17. Nope, I am not one of uncle shmuelly’s kids, but I know who you are now. From Betzalel’s family … I’m from Eretz yisroel

  18. And to think I started all this! I remember Betzalel, an older cousin of ours, (but I thought the Betzalel I knew didn’t have any children) and he’d send us presents every so often. He’d write to us in Yiddish.
    There may be another Betzalel that I’m not aware of.

  19. and to #20, we probably know who you are too. We have very fond memories of the East Siders when we were growing up and visiting our bubby for many Shabbosim. Those were some of my happiest childhood memories- especially davening in MTJ and getting a peak at Rav Moshe z’l.

  20. I don’t know which Betzalel you are referring to. The Betzalel I meant had six kids. He was a lamdan and a tzaddik. His levaya was held in the Lakewood Beis Medrash.

  21. I clarified with my sister, and realized that the man I was referring to was Chatzkel, not Betzalel. Oh well, I’m glad I got that straight!

  22. i don’t know if anyone is still following the blog, but my father, betzalel O”H, was born in lakewood, and at 10yrs old lived with the ostrov family at broome & allen so he could attend RJJ. he would tell me stories of a salami that would hang from the ceiling in the kitchen so if anyone was hungry they would cut themselves a slice with bread and mustard & they would have a meal ( I wish my wife would let me do that). or how his tante bruchka (as she was known in our family),on friday nights, would serve uncle meyer “haissa p’tcha and the leftover she would slice in hard boiled eggs so the next morning they would eat it cold “farglivta”. he told me that early one morning his cousin yankel came into his room screaming “they bombed pearl harbor” all excited. and then there is more…. if anyone is interested.

  23. As this story has receeded into the old pages on Matzav, it is becoming a focal point for a small amount of people who were following the whole family thingy going on. We are still following and are surely interested in hearing more.

    Our Bubby, Sorah Cherna (Sally) Ostrov-Sturman’s first husband, with whom she had her children, was Yitzchok Yonah Ostrov, who was nifter very young, was a brother of Yankel, or J.O., as he was affectionately known by many on the old East Side. Their mother, Brocha, (our oldest daughter is named after her) lived upstairs at Broome and Allen, until she passed away in the 1970s. She was born and raised in the Mir. She lived in America for nearly 70 years, but never learned English, because she wanted to always feel as though she never left the Mir. Indeed she raised funds for the Mir, and corresponded with R’ Leizer Yudel, and was a cousin to Rav Avrohom Kalmanovitz. She was zoche that one of her great grandsons is married to a daughter of Rav Nachman Levovitz, one of the Mirrer Roshei Yeshiva, and was recently appointed to give a chabura in the Mir.

    Sure, begging the indulgence of the Editor, we’d love to hear anything about earlier generations of our family!

  24. Birshus and begging the indulgences of the esteemed editor of shlit”a. firstly i want to comment on 29. comment from midwesterner, in 1973 after I came back for the summer bein hazmanim from the Mir in EY, i drove from lakewood, my grandmother & my great aunt to visit tante brochka. when she found out that i was learning in the mir i could not explain to you, the joy & nachas that she felt & showed, you had to see it. I also remember at her levaya, at the kever,someone, ( i believe brody?) showed everyone receipts for the thousands of dollars she gave to the yeshiva.
    there is one cute story that my father told me, that during prohibition era from 1920 – 1933 when america made the sale of alcohol illegal uncle meyer made a still in the basement and my father would go with cousin yankel or one of the other boys with a baby carriage erev shabbos to some of the shuls or shtiblach in the neighbor and take a bottle out from the carriage wrapped in a baby blanket, go into the shul & put the bottle in the bimah or amud so yidden would be able to make a l”chaim lekoved shabbos. sometimes my father would get the kovod of “hoytzoah v’hachnossah”. I remember my father reminising with his cousin chicki o”h( who my father told me that uncle meyer would call “shaya broadveyer” because he liked dressing well & at one time uncle meyer himself wore a derby that was a very hard stylish hat and once fell down on his head while wearing it & credited it with saving his life), and chicki said that years later some kind of an inspector came into the basement and saw it and made some kind of “tarum”, but after it was examined and they saw it was old & not used for many years they left & didn’t bother anyone. do you all see what kind of a family of chessed we are zoyche to shtam from? Ah guten shabbos.

  25. post note: I hope J Edgar Hoover or Elliott Ness don’t check out the blog’s and comments on

  26. to comment 27 oy vey: I think you might be referring to my grandmother’s cousin Chatzkel Finn who was from Troy NY. My grandmother used to correspond with him (letter writing, no email then) & I believe when I did meet him, it was at my older brothers wedding around 1975.

  27. YaY! I’ve been trying to figure out how Chatzkel Finn is related. How exactly is he your grandmother’s cousin? He was niftar over eight years ago, and my father-in-law would often visit him in the nursing home. Brocha Ostrov was not a cousin to Rav Avrohom Kalmanowitz. Her mother-in-law, Pesha Kalmanowitz-Ostrov, was a Kalmanowitz. (My mother-in-law is named after her). Rav Avrohom himself said that he was related, at the Bar Mitzva of one of the members of the family (Mr. Avi Shulman). Brocha was a Kantrowitz, and she was from the Mir. (I also have a daughter named after her. She had a sister, Hinda, who Oy Vey is named after). There is a large plaque that can be seen at the back of the Mir Beis Medrash, right upon walking in and turning around, that commemerates the members of the Kantrowitz family. The Ostrov’s and Kalmanowitz’s were not from Mir. They were from Delyatitch and Lupse which is in the Novardok Gubernya.

  28. To east side midwesterner: I do believe that a cousin through marriage can be called a cousin. If not, both you and I, who only married into this family, should have no business commenting!

  29. I really don’t remember, but I may be able to find out how. my wife told me that you are peshie’s son in law and you helped her with some family information last summer & she has your contact info. so Im”h we will be bekesher. ( unless she has the wrong person). kol tuv