Miss Snark's First Victim
Sets up a great image and I like the tone of your narrator. A situation that is easy to relate to so I think you've got your readers saying "Yep, been there." Forms a good connection right out of the gates.
I like the syntax and the imagery. This gives me the feel of a sophisticated narrator.
great start because it shows the narrator in trouble; only problem? that little colon. read agents and editors hate them. maybe rearrange the sentence so no colon is needed?
I thought it was okay as is, but it could be stronger if you actually showed us the traffic and the smoke and put us in the scene.
I happen to be fond of colons, so it works for me. I think it would help to have a tiny bit of setting to show what the smoke is rising above. You could do this by listing smoke second and the gridlock first. Good opening.
I like this as is. I don't think you need to "place" us in the scene (that should come next, I think), and the colon is fine because it serves the purpose of the list. And what works well with the list is that it gives the main character voice, so I'd keep it as is.
Nice job. I'd read on.