The Vent

The City That Never Shuts Up

1 year ago by

The City That Never Shuts Up

I know this is New York and I know that the city is loud.

I mean in a sense, that’s what makes it what it is. The noise. You can’t ever feel alone in New York, can you? Lonely, maybe. But never alone. A silent New York would be quite alarming if you ask me but that won’t stop me from complaining about this incessant cacophony. It’s like an orchestra. Except that it’s conducted by a toddler, and the instruments have been replaced by kitchen utensils and frying pans. ALL. THE. TIME. You just can’t tune it out.

I live next to a 4-way intersection, above a 24/7 deli and a bus stop. So I’m kind of asking for it. I can have to deal with the city noises – the screeching subways, the loud parties, the construction, the cars and their perpetual horns. Toot. Tootoot. Tooooot, toooooot you $#@! Also, the bus that arrives every morning at 6:45AM with that deflating “psssssssss”, the garbage disposal trucks with their ungodly reverse beep, the atrociously loud sirens that will eventually perforate my eardrum. Yeah I can totally deal with that.

But it’s the preventable noise that I find insufferable: my neighbor who sounds like she shuffles around her apartment in ski boots, who listens to electronic music when she showers every morning at 6:45 (hey, at least she has a good sense of personal hygiene). The hellish motorcycle on stand-by at 3AM, which sounds like someone is making violent popcorn in my bedroom. That squeaky entrance door from the building next door, opening and slamming shut every time somebody goes in. The barking dogs, the screaming kids – drunk or sober, it’s all like drilling a hole through my brain. So here’s what I want to say to them: to the guy practicing the flute every morning, really not your calling, mate. To my neighbor, I secretly hope you’ll stay single this year – the walls are too thin for me to survive all the sex. To the woman who broke up with her boyfriend under my window, you definitely deserve better. To Mister 305 cruising and blasting some barbaric Pitbull track at 3AM, you’re just rude. And have terrible taste in music.

All I’m asking for is silence. Twenty minutes of complete, deafening silence.

In the direst of situations, I wonder if it’s possible to die of excessive noise. But that’s what sleep deprivation will do to you.


Add yours
  • I feel for you. Unrelenting and/or unpleasant noise/music is a tool that has been used to harass and torture people. I hope you find silent moments, spaces, and places. Meditation center?

  • All I’m asking for is What Are Those Headphones???

    You can’t post something that beautiful on this site without the relevant intel! :)

  • Move to Inwood “upstate Manhattan” It is the last stop north on the A train. Amazing Inwood Hill Park with an old growth forest with trails for hiking, a salt marsh, the Indian Rd. Cafe and the forest provides total quiet! Twenty minutes to Columbus Circle. Also, there is the #1 train and the Hudson Rail.

  • This sounds like the whining of someone who has lived in NYC for 8 months, max.

  • Gabriela August, 24 2017, 1:30 / Reply

    @ Magpie: They’re from B&O.

  • I live in a relatively small city – about 400 000 inhabitants. It often seems too noisy for me.
    Lately a friend from NYC came to visit and he said that he got depressed here the first day as it was so quiet! :)

    Excessive noise very much influences us, even when we get used to it. That’s why it’s even called noise pollution.

    I go to the countryside as often as I can. I don’t know how I’d survive without it.

    But it all the reminds me of a scene in Sex and the City where Charlotte goes to a beautician (well, actually someone who puts needles in you) and she is left to relax in a room with open window and all the NYC noise comes in.

    She’s very annoyed and can’t relax and then the beautician tells her that the city nevers shuts up and that she needs to learn to switch off.

    Good point, but like I said, the noise affects you badly even when you learn to switch off.

    Solution? Mmmm… I don’t know. :(

  • I used to walk home from work: 50th and Broadway to 96th and Broadway. I’d walk along Central Park West, and when the lights on CPW would turn red, there would be a minute or two of silence. Quiet in NYC. IT WAS AMAZING! If you get the chance, you might try a stroll along CPW and see how it feels/sounds. Or in the park itself, of course… Good luck finding your quiet spaces in the city. :)

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