Some Noisy Peace and Quiet


You could have knocked me over with a whisper when I learned that Midtown Manhattan (of all places) was the quietest part of town…well, select parts of it at least. Whether this is based in fact or delirium, phenomenon or pure irony, is unknown to current science and logic. The bizarre fact is that complaints, if not noise, have decreased in Midtown as well as in Tribeca, the Financial District, Battery Park City and the Seaport sections.

The Brick Underground reported that “these relatively quiet zones logged around 93 percent fewer residential noise complaints than the loudest area—Washington Heights/ Inwood—where 6,439 such grievances were filed last year.”

Harlem and the East Village ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively in noisiest areas with intrusive noise being a constant thorn in the side of residents there. For your added study, NYC’s noise codes are found here and the daily grind of noise emanating from non-residential sections here.

Nonetheless, I don’t believe that any area of this city is that much quieter than any other area; if anything, noise is as predominant as ever and maybe more so. What I do believe is that New Yorkers have simply resigned themselves to the inevitable and, perhaps, merely stopped listening.