We just got back from 5 days in NYC. It is such an amazing place. AND it is really noisy!
La Guardia airport was under construction, so there was traffic, and machines and people shouting. And just so many people! Our hotel was lovely – right in the Upper West Side. But we could hear Broadway traffic all the time – horns honking, police/fire truck/ambulance sirens, dogs barking, kids shouting- all the normal sounds of a big city, but ones that we are not used to.
Traffic outside as we walked (and we walked a lot – that is one of the great things about NYC) was loud – all the time. Again, horns, sirens, buses, and cars were incessant.
And then the subway. I had neglected to add a dB app to my new phone, but got one on day 3 of our visit. The subway train across the tracks from us rolled in at 77 dB. And the one we got on maxed at 96 dB, with an extra helping of screeching brakes. (Ear plugs are recommended!)
We went to a jazz club one night- and the sound was great! NOT too loud – really well done. I was all ready to get my ear plugs in – but I didn’t need them. Amazing. (And the view from Dizzy’s is great; there was also a full moon that night, so we saw it climb up into the night sky!)
Obviously, other people have noticed how loud NYC is. I saw a book somewhere called “Quiet New York”, by Siobhan Wall. You can read about it here.
And we did find a quiet place. The Cloisters was very quiet, with three lovely gardens to sit in, and an incredible collection of medieval art.
We loved our trip. And we adjusted, mostly, to the sound levels. If you are looking for an adventure in a big city, go!
And then when you return home, depending on where you live, the contrast will surprise you. The quiet outside our house this morning was a real treat. So nice!