This morning, a story in The New York Times highlighted one of those city problems that is so prevalent, you sometimes don't think much about it: noise. As reporter Cara Buckley writes, the city has actually gotten louder, with helicopters jetting to the Hamptons, incessant construction and those weird new squad car sirens:
Noise has become harder than ever to escape, though New York City, now in its second century of noise abatement efforts, has managed to quiet some offenders of the past, like boom boxes and car alarms. Interviews with residents in affected areas, officials, soundproofing professionals and audio experts not only confirm the creep in round-the-clock outside noise, but suggest that its potential ill effects can rival those caused by deliberately manipulated, high-decibel assaults inside stores, clubs and restaurants. Some contend that the city, despite its efforts, has shown a distinct reluctance to crack down on certain offenders, like construction companies, especially in recent years.
She proceeds to relay tales of New Yorkers spending thousands of dollars on soundproofing, making ceaseless complaints to City Hall — and, often, failing to find the silent refuge they so desperately seek.
Accompanying the story is an excellent interactive feature called "Finding Quiet In the City" that allows readers to submit where they go to escape all the noise. Of particular interest is the map that accompanies this feature, on which readers have "pinned" those beloved silent places:
Somewhat curiously, these recommendations of silent places are in line with the distribution of wealth across the five boroughs (via Queens College)