Then, in today's New York Post, I read this:
STRONG WHIFF OF WORRY DOWNTOWN
By PHILIP MESSING
A peculiar and mysterious smell enveloped lower Manhattan for several hours last night, sparking dozens of 311 calls, authorities said.
Pedestrians around City Hall claimed there was an overpowering smell reminiscent of pancakes or maple syrup.
"A significant number of calls came in to the 311 system," said Jared Bernstein, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management. "We are taking it very seriously — in this day and age we take everything seriously."
Bernstein said city officials were working — with a variety of state and federal officials — to determine where the smell originated.
Update: Gothamist is on the case. (Check out all the comments!)