Something strange is going on-- last night the whole city smelled like maple syrup! Gothamist has gotten reports from all over Manhattan-- and we smelled the strange, sweet odor as far south as Chambers Street. Gothamist Contribute also has some reports:

The whole city smells like maple syrup and everyone knows it! Tell us why.
October 28, 2005 02:38 AM

Same smell is pervading the Greenwich Village / NYU area -- both outdoors and in, I smelled it in my apt earlier and thought a neighbor was making french toast or something but it's clearly something bigger. Maple syrup dirty bomb???
October 28, 2005 02:09 AM

I'm on W. 96th St. and I can smell it, too. I thought there was some food hidden in my room somewhere.
October 28, 2005 01:04 AM

The air smells of maple syrup in the Upper West Side. Anonymous individual sources questioned at street corners around Harlem agree that for some reason it smells very sweet and syrupy. Everyone speculates that a pancake truck or maple syrup factory has caught on fire. Perhaps Gothamist can investigate? (around Columbia Uni area + Harlem area)
October 28, 2005 12:50 AM

Maple syrup dirty bomb? Commence panic! Is there a huge, maple syrup slick in the East River that we don't know about? [Related: You Can't Make It Up also noticed the smell!.]

Update: The New York Times doesn't know what it is, either!

Update: News Channel 4 just said they have no idea what it was, but that they didn't think it was dangerous!

Update: Apparently it could be smelled all the way in Astoria!

Update: NY1 says: "Officials from the Office of Emergency Management have been running tests all night to try to figure out just what the smell is. A spokesman says air samples aren't showing anything hazardous, the source of the smell is still not clear."

Image is clearly from 1010 WINS, whose graphics department deserves a prize [via commenter notlaughing]