Sorry, I can't hear you, I have a banana in my ear.
March 19, 2004 10:14 AM   Subscribe

Noiseways. Listen to New York City and Portland Oregon. "The negative effects of noise—stress and the disruption of work, sleep, learning and other activities—are well established by scientific research. And of course it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of noise in New York City. The Noiseways Project intends to complement this knowledge by letting visitors to this Internet site experience the effects of noise through the use of pictures and sound recordings. Instead of presenting data, Noiseways engages the senses."
posted by Tin Man (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you've read your Patrick O'Brien, you know that in the early 19th Century, dentists, when pulling teeth, used to employ men to stand to either side and bang empty basins right into the patient's ears, because loud noise has a numbing effect on the senses. This probably explains why visitors to New York often collapse onto their hotel beds after even a brief period of sightseeing, feeling that they have been beaten about the head with clubs.
posted by Faze at 11:09 AM on March 19, 2004

They missed the part where it's 11:30 PM and the new guy down the hall is having a party and one of his model friends keeps standing outside your door arguing with someone on her cell phone, but you roll over determined to get some sleep for a change, only to be awakened an hour and a half later by the jackhammers working on the entrance ramp to the Lincoln Tunnel that's right below your tiny, overpriced apartment. You then wedge some earplugs so far into your auditory canal that you're scratching the surface of the medulla, and all for naught because the noise is so loud you feel it in your teeth. And it continues until 5:30. This leaves you about one hour to catch some rest before the parking lot next door fills with idling NJ Transit busses that hiss and grumble and fill your littered hole of a "two-bedroom loft" with a choking diesel haze.
posted by eatitlive at 11:21 AM on March 19, 2004

I live in the woods, heh heh heh,
posted by Elim at 11:32 AM on March 19, 2004

Is there any escape from noise?
posted by Nelson at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2004

They also missed the part where you live in a big underpriced one-bedroom in the back of a 19th-century townhouse on Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village, and when you (occasionally) turn the TV off the only sounds echoing off your 14-foot ceilings are the fan in your Powerbook and your cat's purring.

In other words, it sucks to be a loser anywhere, and if you can't hack it in New York then, sure, go live in the woods. And as for the link: wait, the heliports are loud now? Duh.

What we really need are more buskers in the subways, though, don't you think, Faze?
posted by nicwolff at 1:32 PM on March 19, 2004

*kills nicwolff and moves into his apartment*

I think we're neighbors, eatitlive...but my apartment's only noisy at rush hours. Noise is so relative anyway--when i go to the country i can't sleep because the crickets and things are too loud, but trucks and honking i can sleep right thru.
posted by amberglow at 1:44 PM on March 19, 2004

they missed the part where your ludicrously cheap 1300 square foot three bedroom on 3rd Ave and 34th has *six* bars across the street from it and the approach to the Queens Tunnel (read: hundreds of horns, all the time and often two way gridlock.)

When they banned smoking in the bars we started to look for another place to live as there were more than 200 people yelling at each other on the opposite sidewalk at 2 am on the weekends and it was deafening.

I moved to Park Slope where the only sound I hear are the clocks ticking and the fridge. It's pretty nice.
posted by n9 at 2:07 PM on March 19, 2004

As Asimov states in his "Chronology of the World," the urbanization of humans in our post-tribe history has raised our standard of living, provided better security, and allowed us to branch out into the arts. Civilization, however, has its fallbacks, with noise and crowding being two points of stress in our evolutionary development.

It is for this reason that the solitude of wilderness areas in the U.S. have become so important for its population. If you live in the city, remember to recharge now and then at a wilderness near you.
posted by F Mackenzie at 3:33 PM on March 19, 2004

I live in the suburbs of Portland. All I hear at night is a sometimes annoying pack of coyotes. :)

Though I'd much rather be living downtown. Coyotes creep me out.
posted by efalk at 3:47 PM on March 19, 2004

Yeah, efalk, but I hear at least one drunken PSU student let out a shrieking whoop every night of the week, usually between 1-3 a.m. At least coyotes have a certain rustic appeal.
posted by cortex at 4:36 PM on March 19, 2004

This is one of my pet peeves, the cars allowed on the loop drive in Central Park. Not just because they are a menace to bicicylists and people walking with kids, but as this points out, the noise. They also stink up the joint. Bloomberg might just get my vote if he banned cars from the loop.
posted by Slagman at 10:14 AM on March 20, 2004

This is one of the reasons I live in Astoria, Queens. I hear birds singing when I wake up. (When I'm not hearing my upstairs neighbor yell at his kid.)
posted by Vidiot at 9:05 PM on March 21, 2004

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