That @%#! street noise

10 Sep

To state the blindingly obvious, New York City is a noisy-ass place. On the street, you have to yell into your cell phone, and honking and sirens are so commonplace that after a while, you don’t even notice it. Except when you do — and that’s what I’m talking about today.

Personal story segment: At 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, a U.S. Kitchen Grease Filters Service truck parked outside the pita place below my window and began power-cleaning deep-fryers on the sidewalk. I called 311 to report the issue, then went down to confront the guy, because ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?

Here is the page on NYC.gov about noise-related issues. Click on Noise From Construction Complaint to download a useful pamphlet. Various highlights I found interesting:

• Honking is illegal except in emergencies. Yes, seriously! Alas, file under: Laws that are never be enforced.
(Side note: Did you also know running red lights is illegal? Manhattan vehicles appear not to have received this memo.)
• There are also laws about how loud garbage trucks can be.
• Street construction may only occur between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays.
• Home renovations may only happen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekends.
• Law-abiding dogs don’t bark for more than five continuous minutes after 7 a.m. and before 10 p.m.
• Ice cream truck are only allowed to play their jingle while moving.

And from my own tip vault….When apartment-hunting, preemptively strike against irritating noise by:

• Not moving in above a bar or restaurant with outdoor seating;
• Choosing a predominantly residential street, as opposed to one with a heavy mix of bars/clubs/eateries and residential.
• Living above the first few floors;
• Facing the back of the building (although you lose your view).
• Buying great earplugs. I use these, from none other than the Ear Plug Superstore, the kind construction workers use on-site. I keep a pair in my purse for unbearably loud subway stations (Union Square much?), and I swear by them on airplanes.

Anyone else have a good (read: bad) story to share, or tip on how you deal with the noise level in NYC?

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One Response to “That @%#! street noise”

  1. Allison Blass 10/12 at 3:52 pm #

    I have an evil upstairs neighbor that likes to walk around at 12:30 in the morning. It’s not her fault that the floors creak, so I’m definitely going to invest in ear plugs. Thanks for the link!

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