A little while back, I posted about how much I loved riding the quiet car on the train, and how people united to protect that little comfort on public transportation. I was thinking about it last night when I was ensconced in blankets in my condo, where I live alone, listening to a helicopter fly overhead. It seemed like a jarring noise even though I hear at least half a dozen fly overhead a day, and it occurred to me that it was no coincidence that I was prompted to post my love affair with the quiet car when I did … I was on my way home from New York.
When I started the job I have now, I was in NYC about every other (or at least every third) week. My company has a corporate apartment down in the Financial District about five blocks from the office on Broadway. Up to three or four people at a time stay there, so even when you’re not on at work, there isn’t really any private corner in the city of eight million people. When I was up there two weeks ago, I realized as I boarded the train that I had the buzz of a recent rock concert in my ears – the noise of the trucks, the cabs, the air traffic, the voices, even just the vibration of such a chaotic and constant place.
Being back home and enjoying intermittent silence and solitude, I realized that the reason they call New York “the city that never sleeps” is not that you can get Chinese food at four in the morning. It’s because the place is thunderously, dizzyingly, deafeningly loud.