Monday, September 13, 2004

I get this panicked feeling when I drive into New York City after being gone from the chaos all weekend. It’s nice to drive down the Jersey Turnpike to the Holland Tunnel and see the skyline. And even though I have to drive down Canal Street to get to the Manhattan Bridge, to cross-over to Brooklyn, the panic doesn’t begin until I park the car on the street and I’m walking up to our apartment.

And I know the reason for the panic.

The sounds in New York never stop. All a person can hear in my neighborhood is the sound of honking, alarms and music blaring from a person’s car window. Not to mention, the loud buses driving on Myrtle Avenue. And we can’t forget that I live next door to a fire station – so I hear the sound of fire trucks screaming through my window at all hours of the day. During the summer, there are people shouting and ice cream trucks singing. There are dogs barking. Always dogs barking. The barking never stops. At night, I sometimes here a bug making a noise and I swear it’s a cockroach. (Charlie says I’m paranoid.)

And I have to admit: Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don’t.

There is no other place in the world I’d rather be right now than in New York City. But sometimes I just want it to be quiet and I know that I can’t have that here. There are always people on the streets. Always the same sounds heard over and over again.

The only quiet I get during the day is in the morning when I’m in the shower. I listen to the water coming down and it’s so nice not to hear everything that’s going on outside our windows.

After I finish getting ready to start my day and I walk down my stoop to the sidewalk – It’s quiet outside for the only time during the day. I look to the left, down the street, and I see the Empire State Building and I think to myself: I live in New York City. I live in the best place in the world.

But sometimes the sounds are enough to drive you mad.