Noise. Everyday I wake up to a jack hammer. Now they have automated ones that don't need a man to operate. At least with the manual operated ones the guys had to take a break now and then, I read that they could only do it so many hours and then by law they had to stop because it messed up their insides so bad. Can you imagine? It can't be good for you. And I always thought though that all that vibrating would help them lose some stomach fat but all the guys I ever saw operating them had big old guts that fell over the handles of their jack hammers.
Anyway, now they got machines. and between the building on 95 St that they're putting up, and they just finished redoing the sidewalk on Third, right in front of my building and now I walk out and they (I don't know who they are either) are digging up the sidewalk across the street at the corner of Third and 95th St. And at 96th between Lexington and Third (but closer to Third, of course), Con Ed is doing some kind of work that entails drilling and other assorted NOISE (and they also do something regularly on 96th between Third and Second).
And speaking of Second Avenue they just broke ground on the Second Avenue subway. So between all of those areas that somebody is digging up, putting up, or tearing down, I have a situation where I live that I can't get any peace and quiet. I don't have double pane windows either, which would help. So even if it's not that hot, leaving my windows open right now is unbearable. So I close them but because it is too hot to just keep them closed I need to turn on the airconditioner. Which costs an arm and a leg. The rates go up in the summers, which is fucked. Con Ed has a lot of nerve, but that's a whole other story, or chapter, but I will go into it because it's on my mind.
But back to the noise. My upstairs neighbor, he's a nice guy, I've known him for twenty years, we were in an acting class together, how we ended up living right on top and below each other is mystical, but he plays piano. He practices two-three hours a night. Right above me. At about the time I like to either take a nap or write.
You'd think around three or four in the morning it would be safe to open my windows and get some real air but then there's those motorcycles that removed the mufflers and should be off road, but they're not and when they rev up it could wake the dead. I called the cops once about it, the decibel level is off the chart and he said “What do you want us to do about it? Chase them?” Hmm. Hostile to me, right off the bat. Like if they actually cared about the people who live here in the city, they could measure the noise and yes, there's a thought, pull them over! But cops don't care about the citizens; they're pissed off because we live here and they don't, because they can't afford it. As if we can. Plus, unless you mow someone down, you will never get a ticket in this town. And even then, that's all you're going to get, a ticket. You could be doing a hundred miles an hour in a school zone and a cop would sit on his ass in his car and watch you zoom by. It would never occur to a NYPD to give you a ticket for speeding. Drivers have carte blanche in this town. It's an unspoken assumption.
Cops are pissed off in general. That's the kind of people that are attracted to being a cop. Those and the ones who have a strong sense of justice, right or wrong, black and white type of guys, and I don't mean race, although that sometimes applies to them all too often as well. It's like nurses; they either are sadists because the job offers the perfect opportunities to torture people, being helpless and sick, or they're saints, selfless and all.
But most of the cops I ever knew are legal thugs. Like politicians. Hitler, Bush Cheney, they know where the real money and power is and they went for it. Like Cheney said once, he had other priorities.
But back to the noise. Sometimes I think I shouldn't live in the city. I'm very susceptible to the noise. I wonder how loud it was fifty years ago.