As a child I grew up in a neighborhood that for the most part was considered Industrial. Right out the front door was the highway; it was an elevated highway that hugged the coastline from the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel all the way into Bay Ridge. Across the street was a metal foundry where they molded metal into various objects for various uses. Then up the block were the offices for the factory that was a "junk mail" clearing house which was a few blocks away.
We had the business that made propellers, there were a lot of shipping companies, the factory that made all sorts of doll parts, and how could I forget the company just near the corner that used to make Christmas decorations. I can remember going there on Halloween and getting boxes of glass balls for the tree in lieu of candy. I didn't know too many kids who went home with Christmas ornaments that night...but when in Rome.
Every evening you could look out the back window and see the pink glow of the "Goya" sign atop the factory that produced Spanish condiments. I always looked forward to passing the Surplus Sales Warehouse because you never knew when they would be having a sale right out of their garage. Unlike the air in the country, it smelled different where I lived; it smelled sort of sooty and plastic, except....when the wind was just right you could smell the dyes from the towel factory.
The best smell that I remember however was from the candy factory. You didn't always smell it but there were times when there was nothing else you could possibly smell at all. I'm talking close to forty years ago and I've since moved away and the area is nothing like it used to be. Many of the factories have been converted into housing and a lot of the immigrants from lower Manhattan have moved into the area after 911. The funny part was that the candy factory I speak of made little chewy candies called "Now & Later", you may have eaten them; they were very popular in my neighborhood and I know they're still made somewhere but haven't had one in many years.
Life in those days was good, aside from being childishly carefree, those days left a lot of good memories which I still carry with me today. Thanks for helping me remember the memories I love to think of every "now and then."