Sunday, January 14, 2018

Sounds of the City

That Radio Club meetup has me thinking about sound.

I notice sirens a lot. Mostly ambulance, I think, but I'm sure there are plenty of police and fire truck sirens, too.

In my room, the heating system makes a funny rattling noise over in the far corner of the ceiling. I've stopped noticing it by now, but at first it kept me from falling asleep at night.

Sometimes the wind rattles the bedroom window, or blows grit or raindrops or snowflakes against it.

Cafes are full of people chattering, but NYC chatter is totally different from Nashville chatter. I hear lots of other languages and accents. There's the Long Island accent, which I still feel incredulous about. I love hearing Spanish. The couple at the table next to me right now are speaking something I don't recognize — they look vaguely Middle Eastern but I don't think it's Arabic or Hebrew.

The subway is full of awful metallic screeches, which no one else seems to hear. Sometimes someone — always a man — will stream music videos — usually hip-hop — from his phone, speakers at full volume. No one seems to hear that, either. Sometimes people talk to themselves. Although that could be a hidden bluetooth earpiece, always hard to tell. Sometimes a group of tourists stand over me and talk VERY LOUDLY to one another.

When I walk down the street, I usually listen to podcasts. Right now I'm really into Pantsuit Politics, so I hear women's voices in my headphones. I get tired of hearing men's voices.

I hear trash blowing along the street, I hear cars honking and buses rumbling by, I feel more than hear the subway rumbling underneath me. Sometimes I hear birds chirping. Or music leaking through someone's apartment window. The trees don't have leaves right now, but I do hear branches rustling.

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