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stitchingirl
07-26-2010, 02:58 PM
I was hoping that there are some people or even someone who I could ask about New York City. The Internet is a valuable research tool, but it can only give information and until computers come out with Smellavision, I have to rely on people's experiences about it.

If anyone can help me, please PM here.

Thanks,
Michelle :)

alleycat
07-26-2010, 03:24 PM
You will probably get several replies here; if you need additional information the City-Data forum is good for these types of questions. There are sub-forums for every state and major city.

stitchingirl
07-26-2010, 05:32 PM
Is that the name of the site? City Data?

I never heard of it, so I don't know. Thank you for your reply.

WendyNYC
07-26-2010, 05:42 PM
What kind of info do you need? Just general? What neighborhood?

katiemac
07-26-2010, 06:15 PM
I can help, too. Just ask.

stitchingirl
07-26-2010, 07:15 PM
The questions I have can only be answered if you've been there in person.

*How loud is the city? Do you have to raise your voice slightly just to be heard over the cars, the honking? (I'm hearing impaired and with my hearing aids, EVERYTHING is loud)

*Is there certain areas of the city that isn't so loud? I imagine side streets aren't as loud as if..say..you were on Broadway or Fifth Avenue or that.

*Are there certain smells that just linger in the air? I imagine that if you walk past restaurants that you can smell the aromas of the food. But what if you're not near any restaurants?

*If someone who has lived in the city all their lives happens to be gone for two months, would the city still be like they remember do you think? Or do you think that they would pick something up in the air that they never noticed before?

*Here in Ohio, one of the rock stations on the radio has a two hour show which plays requests from their listeners. "Delilah" is the show's name. Are there any stations that do the same? The ones that listeners can request those cheesy songs to dedicate to other people?

Thank you for any help.

RJK
07-26-2010, 11:02 PM
I'm not a resident, but I got a real feel for the city while reading Lawrence Block's stories. He puts you right into the neighborhoods, making you feel you're right there on the street with the characters. Try some of his Mathew Scudder novels, you'll see what I mean.

katiemac
07-26-2010, 11:41 PM
*How loud is the city? Do you have to raise your voice slightly just to be heard over the cars, the honking? (I'm hearing impaired and with my hearing aids, EVERYTHING is loud) Nope, you don't need to raise your voice. If you're in Times Square, maybe, but less because of cars/street noise and more because there are lots of people. New York actually has a handful of noise pollution laws, and I think honking is something like a $500 fine. You'll be winding in and out of crowds and probably raise your voice to keep a conversation going if your friend is still behind you because there's only enough room for one person to walk through at a time. But again, this is Times Square, and why most people who live in New York avoid it at all costs.

But no, normally you just talk at a normal level.



*Is there certain areas of the city that isn't so loud? I imagine side streets aren't as loud as if..say..you were on Broadway or Fifth Avenue or that.Absolutely. Again, pretty much anything is going to be quieter than Times Square. Central Park, for example. Side streets, entire neighborhoods in general. With a few more details I might be able to help you better.



*Are there certain smells that just linger in the air? I imagine that if you walk past restaurants that you can smell the aromas of the food. But what if you're not near any restaurants?Food carts are pretty prevalent in some areas. The roasted nuts carts are the ones that smell the strongest to me--like caramel. Otherwise it's the kabobs that smell pretty good. But you'd also be hard-pressed to be in an area with zero restaurants, but I tend not to notice those smells.

Sometimes if you're over a subway grate you get a whiff of the subway down below, which is mostly a dirty/garbagey smell in my opinion. When it's super hot and nasty outside, you'd be surprised how good air conditioning smells when you pass an open door on the street. I don't notice an overall city smell unless I've been out of the city for awhile and then I come back. Even then, it only lasts for a minute or two.




*If someone who has lived in the city all their lives happens to be gone for two months, would the city still be like they remember do you think? Or do you think that they would pick something up in the air that they never noticed before?It's fairly common for empty real estate to change over pretty quickly, so someone could be gone for a couple weeks and then there's an entirely different restaurant or storefront than was there before (happened to me, actually). It's totally possible for them to notice something that was never there ... the trick is figuring out if that thing was actually there the whole time or just sprouted up last week. It also wouldn't be unusual to go to a neighborhood you haven't been to in a couple weeks and find some things have changed.



*Here in Ohio, one of the rock stations on the radio has a two hour show which plays requests from their listeners. "Delilah" is the show's name. Are there any stations that do the same? The ones that listeners can request those cheesy songs to dedicate to other people? Pretty much any radio station does call-in requests. Z100 is the big pop station. Power105 is also popular. WLTW, or 106.7 Lite FM, is the station that syndicates Delilah.

WendyNYC
07-27-2010, 12:19 AM
Katiemac described it well. I would just add that when I'm out of the city for a while, everything smells like metal for a few minutes. I can also smell it in my kids' hair when they get back from the park. But I'm *extremely* sensitive to smells.

There's also just a continuous hum in the city that I never notice, but visitors do. Even with the windows closed.

katiemac
07-27-2010, 12:23 AM
Katiemac described it well. I would just add that when I'm out of the city for a while, everything smells like metal for a few minutes. I can also smell it in my kids' hair when they get back from the park. But I'm *extremely* sensitive to smells.

There's also just a continuous hum in the city that I never notice, but visitors do. Even with the windows closed.

I agree with metal -- that's not a bad way to describe it. I've never noticed in on someone though!

WendyNYC
07-27-2010, 12:47 AM
I agree with metal -- that's not a bad way to describe it. I've never noticed in on someone though!

You probably don't go around kissing small people on the top of the head. :)

Jersey Chick
07-27-2010, 12:50 AM
For shame, Katie - how can you mention NY radio stations and NOT mention Q104.3 - it's the last classic rock station in the area? :D

I'm in love with Marc Coppola's voice, just so you know. :)

WendyNYC
07-27-2010, 12:51 AM
For shame, Wendy - how can you mention NY radio stations and NOT mention Q104.3 - it's the last classic rock station in the area. :D



I am old and boring and listen to nothing but NPR. Sad!

Jersey Chick
07-27-2010, 12:52 AM
Actually, I blamed the wrong person - went back to double check and did a **facepalm** I hoped I was fast enough before anyone noticed... :o

katiemac
07-27-2010, 12:52 AM
Sorry. ;) I actually never listen to the radio myself, unless I'm in a cab, but the ones I mentioned above I work with on a fairly regular basis. I'll know better next time.

Jersey Chick
07-27-2010, 12:54 AM
Well.... okay... I'll let it go...


for now. ;)

I actually listen to talk radio all day, myself. But sometimes, when you need tunes...

Bing Z
07-27-2010, 02:12 AM
I don't live in NYC, but go there often. Besides what katiemac and Wendy says, I would like to add that NYC has just about anything for anyone, for the right price. Therefore you can actually create any scenario and it will work, maybe in a specific neighborhood at a specific time.

The most obvious thing I'd describe NYC is actually the pace. People walk fast and drive impatiently. Subway riders will push you if you stroll too casually in the walkway esp during rush hours. While this is supposedly a general phenomenon in bigger cities, I think NYC has the quickest pace in the US.

Smell - In winter, the aroma of coffee from the snacks/newspapers booths in staled subway mazes is a joyful stimulus. Summer, not so much with all the sweaty smells.

Noises - if you want to stress on a bad living environment where it is noisy, there are apartments that are like 10 feet away from overpass subway lines. People who live there will not "enjoy a serene evening at home." OTOH, your character can live in $50 million townhouses in Upper East Side and "enjoys serene evening."

Hallen
07-27-2010, 03:29 AM
*Here in Ohio, one of the rock stations on the radio has a two hour show which plays requests from their listeners. "Delilah" is the show's name. Are there any stations that do the same? The ones that listeners can request those cheesy songs to dedicate to other people?

Thank you for any help.

Ha, I know Delilah. Her show is syndicated so it could be on any radio station in the country. I suspect her website will list stations that she is syndicated on. http://www.delilah.com/pages/stations.html
New York 106.7 WLTW (http://www.1067litefm.com/) http://www.delilah.com/cc-common/mlib/13233/12/13233_1261075803.gif Mon-Fri 8p-1a

Yep, I suspected right. (And Delilah is her real name)

alleycat
07-27-2010, 03:37 AM
Is that the name of the site? City Data?

I never heard of it, so I don't know. Thank you for your reply.
Yes. Here's a link.

http://www.city-data.com/forum/#u-s-forums

Debbie V
07-27-2010, 04:03 AM
One thing that wasn't said before about smells. Subways often have a combination of urine and incense, especially in winter when the homeless seek shelter below ground.

When I arrive from the burbs by train, that smell tells me I've hit the city. It's like a welcome back, but it's not that welcome.

-Debbie

scope
07-27-2010, 08:18 AM
I was born and still live in NYC and one of its suburbs. I assume your questions have to do with your moving to NYC, not wanting background info for a book. If that is the case, and particularly since you live in Ohio, I strongly suggest you first visit NYC and stay here for at least a month.

While you have gotten some great opinions and insight from blueboarders, there's really no way anyone can prepare you for all that NYC is. And while the month I mentioned will help, there will be a gigantic amount of stuff you can only learn--love or dislike--until you become a New Yorker. It is unlike any other place in the US.

stitchingirl
07-28-2010, 01:18 AM
Actually the info is for a book. I don't know if I would ever physically go to NYC, so it may just be a pipe dream at the moment.

Ever since I got my hearing aids, I've lost my desire to travel anywhere. I don't do good in public places with alot of people, and I'm not good in parking lots alone. I can just imagine how loud NYC would be for me and that sort of poo-poos the idea of visiting it. Even with the help of someone, I don't know if I'd be brave enough to venture there.

So, for now. I'll just have to rely on obtaining the needed information from people who either live there or visited it enough that they can recollect the information for me.

The hearing aids were suppose to allow me all this amount of freedom and now I'm hiding even more with them in. I just can't seem to get used to all the overwhelming noise that comes at me at once.

So, I thank all of you who are able to help me and give me any information that I may need.

8thSamurai
07-28-2010, 02:34 AM
Ooof - what burough? There are a thousand neighborhoods, and every single one of them is different. Vastly.

Red Hook has very little public transit, a large Hasidic population, and looks like (a lot of it, anyway) a declining industrial park. It's generally very quiet on the edges.

Coney Island and the Bed Stuy area are highly residential, much of the architecture is strongly turn of the century, and the whole area feels vaguely haunted.

Midtown Manhattan is what you see most of in the movies.

Chinatown and Little Italy (where not intersecting with Canal Street) are a maze of small streets, many still cobbled, but they both feel very different beyond that.

Harlem sports Columbia University, Seminary Row by the river, a couple of parks that are pristinely silent - or the chaos of 125th street and the subway stops, chain stores, a bit of section 8 style housing (which can be gorgeous or a dump depending upon the one). It's all about where you go.

We haven't even hit Astoria, Flushing, Park Slope, Greenpoint, the Cloisters...

NYC is a BIG place, and very diverse.

scope
07-28-2010, 02:39 AM
stitchingirl,

I am very sorry to learn more about your disability. I wish you the best.

As for the book that apparently contains a good deal of info about NYC, or is about NYC, is there any other city you can use? NYC and all it's about is the most, or one of the most, individual cities in the world when it comes to its format and idiosyncrasies. What one person hates, another loves -- and so on. I'm just afraid that even the plurality opinions of people you chat will not be true for most New Yorkers. For instance, some people hate the crowded streets on the East side from 34th street to 70th street while others love the excitement, activity, and diversity produced.

Just my 2 cents.
All the best.

stitchingirl
07-28-2010, 04:02 AM
I think that could be said about any city, actually. I live in punytown, Ohio. Scott's lived here all his life and wouldn't dare dream of living elsewhere. Me, on the otherhand, I grew up in Akron, Ohio. That's definitely a far cry from where I am now. This place has like maybe 24,000 people..give or take a few?

I would like to maybe live somewhere in a bigger city, but he won't move. Just as with your views about New Yorkers, the same could be said about smaller towns, as well. Those that dream all their lives of getting out of Smalltown USA, while others couldn't imagine living elsewhere.

All the varied information that I can get may actually come in handy for the story. Those things that irks some people may give me a clearer idea of NYC, as well as maybe using some of those detestable characteristics that make up the city, while using those lovable aspects of living in NYC.
I feel that it may make me see the city better through a native's eyes, rather than trying to find the same information online.

I can find information about neighborhoods, but it won't let me know what it's like to actually live in said neighborhoods. The..what's the word?...the essence of that neighborhood? Which is what I'd be looking for. The smells that can be detected the first thing in the morning. The sounds that make that neighborhood unique, as well as those things that are often shared among other neighborhoods.

mtrenteseau
07-28-2010, 07:23 AM
I've never thought of the city as being particularly loud - I have no problem having conversations walking down the street. And despite the sobriquet "the city that never sleeps," by nine o'clock things are very quiet except in areas with lots of night clubs. The "Meatpacking District" is one of the trendy areas right now.

I agree with Katiemac about the roasted nut vendors. You can smell them for a block in every direction.

High-end restaurants cook food to order, so the food smells you get from passing by restaurants are from the ethnic places that use a lot of the same things in their recipes - Italian restaurants will exude basil, garlic, and oregano. Greek diners (there's one on every block) will smell like gyros, which cook for hours on vertical rotisseries.

Despite the prevalence of corner grocery stores with huge displays of flowers for sale out front, I don't recall a strong floral smell.

I think that what people will notice after two months away are things that are different compared to where they were. It might be certain ethnicities (spend two months in Iowa and the first Asian person you see when you get back will be a bit of a surprise). It might be familiar smells, whether it's the diner down the block or the dry cleaner or the obnoxious chemical that the janitor in your office building uses to do the floors in the lobby.

Delilah is nationally syndicated. Here in Atlanta she's on B98.5. If it's important to your story, you might want to create one of your own. "Sleepless in Seattle" was based on Delilah.

I would suggest going to the New York Times web site, under "Blogs" and read The City Room. It has all sorts of things that are unique about New York City. On the right are links to blogs by people all over the city - some are neighborhood centric, some appeal to people with particular lifestyles, but all of them tell one of the "eight million stories."

katiemac
07-28-2010, 07:32 AM
I can find information about neighborhoods, but it won't let me know what it's like to actually live in said neighborhoods. The..what's the word?...the essence of that neighborhood? Which is what I'd be looking for. The smells that can be detected the first thing in the morning. The sounds that make that neighborhood unique, as well as those things that are often shared among other neighborhoods.Tell us what kind of neighborhoods you're looking for/at and maybe we can help.

stitchingirl
07-28-2010, 03:01 PM
I was just looking at apartment rentals online, just to get an idea of what NYC apartments look like and that. I found a good one in Gramercy Park area. I don't know the exact address, as that wasn't included.
So, I guess somewhere around Gramercy Park or Upper West Side?

I didn't know that Delilah was syndicated at all. Maybe to other cities in Ohio, but I didn't know that she was nationwide like that. The other night, I was listening to her on my computer on a NYC's station. That's awesome.

I'd be salivating over the smell of gyros. I love that smell. There was a little restaurant around University of Akron that sold them.

Thank you for the heads up about the blogs on NY Times website. I'll have to check that out, as well. :)

Sevilla
07-29-2010, 06:58 AM
I would just add that when I'm out of the city for a while, everything smells like metal for a few minutes.

Yes! That's it exactly. I couldn't put my finger on that NYC smell, but yeah, it's metal.

mtrenteseau
07-29-2010, 07:10 AM
So, I guess somewhere around Gramercy Park or Upper West Side?

One odd quirk about the Gramercy Park neighborhood - the park itself is private. People who live in the buildings directly facing the park get keys to the gate.

There have been all sorts of fights about keyholders letting strangers in because they don't think the park should be private. I think one day a year the park is open to the public.

stitchingirl
07-29-2010, 10:57 PM
Gated? As in like a gated community?

Thanks for the information. Of course the pictures that I plan on using as a model for my character's apartment doesn't necessarily have to be Gramercy Park. I imagine it could be anywhere. I don't plan on using the pictures as an exact model, but more to let me know what NYC apartments have.

WendyNYC
07-29-2010, 11:05 PM
What is your character like? Young and single? Married with school-aged kids? Lower/middle/upper class? Edgy? Preppy? Likes a quiet neighborhood? Prefers to be in the middle of everything?

katiemac
07-30-2010, 01:08 AM
Thanks for the information. Of course the pictures that I plan on using as a model for my character's apartment doesn't necessarily have to be Gramercy Park. I imagine it could be anywhere. I don't plan on using the pictures as an exact model, but more to let me know what NYC apartments have.Actually, that's the funny thing about New York. Apartment sizes, rent, etc. vary all over the place depending on the area. The areas you've chosen to look at may be similar, but that doesn't mean all of New York has the same apartment styles. Just the opposite, in fact.

It doesn't have to be perfect for your book, though. Answer Wendy's questions and we can better place your character.

stitchingirl
07-31-2010, 11:17 AM
I wouldn't really say she's preppy. Maybe..more in the middle? Not preppy, but not a complete burnout either (those were the two clique titles in high school).

She's in her mid30's, single, no children. I would say that she likes more of a quiet neighborhood. She isn't really looking for any prospective men. She's "happily single" I guess is the term.

DavidZahir
07-31-2010, 07:10 PM
The upper west side is pricey, as I recall. On the other hand there are lots of more-or-less affordable walk-ups scattered all over Manhattan. What always startled me living in NYC was how cheap breakfasts were (like a full meal for $2 in the late 80s) and how good the Italian food was even in the most hole-in-the-wall deli/convenience store. Plus, since everybody uses the subway, tokens are practically money. Plenty of places accept them as currency and give them as change.

Lots of restaurants, bars and even cinemas had cats. I found that charming, but then I really really like cats. The reason is less-so. NYC is very congested, holding millions and millions of people as well as their garbage. So we're talking lots of rats and mice. Hence the felines.

I have honestly never lived anywhere with as much racial tension as I did in NYC. Not even in the Deep South during the 1960s and 70s. It was startling to realize how many folks immediately sized you up based on ethnicity. Lost track of how many times people flat out asked me if I were Jewish (this inevitably from Jews) and how openly a Gay man I knew expressed contempt for anyone black or hispanic, while in Times Square certain preachers went on and on about how white people were the spawn of Satan and had no souls, etc. Mind you, there were huge numbers of exceptions to this rule (if you can call it that).

Another detail that sticks out is pallor. Buildings in Manhattan are so tall and numerous that shade is common even on the brightest days. In Florida I was considered pale. The week or so after reaching NYC there were many comments about my "deep" tan.

Bing Z
07-31-2010, 07:58 PM
The upper west side is pricey, as I recall. On the other hand there are lots of more-or-less affordable walk-ups scattered all over Manhattan. What always startled me living in NYC was how cheap breakfasts were (like a full meal for $2 in the late 80s) and how good the Italian food was even in the most hole-in-the-wall deli/convenience store. Plus, since everybody uses the subway, tokens are practically money. Plenty of places accept them as currency and give them as change.

DavidZahir gives good account of the city that can't be found on maps or real estate ads.

The NYC Mass Transit Authority used to use tokens for fare. Now they use store-value magmatic cards. I think the switch over was around the start of century but not sure. This can serve for setting the time of your story or used to reflect history of characters.

stitchingirl
08-01-2010, 01:30 AM
who's answering my questions. This is exactly what I meant by getting the most useful information from those who live there, rather than relying on something that I've read.

Any information is useful, no matter how trivial it may seem. So, I thank you to everyone.

katiemac
08-01-2010, 11:28 PM
I'd probably stick her on the Upper West Side. Now it's full of young couples, either with a dog or very young kids. Seriously, a Saturday or Sunday morning and that's all you get walking the streets--couples walking their dogs, or couples pushing their kids in strollers (and a few pushing their dogs in strollers).

You can get a one bedroom in the area for between $1600 and $2000 a month. And yeah, it would be a walk-up, pre-war style building.

mtrenteseau
08-02-2010, 05:59 AM
Gated? As in like a gated community?

Thanks for the information. Of course the pictures that I plan on using as a model for my character's apartment doesn't necessarily have to be Gramercy Park. I imagine it could be anywhere. I don't plan on using the pictures as an exact model, but more to let me know what NYC apartments have.

Coming back to this after a few days' absence...

The community isn't gated, just the park. It's like a bunch of highrises and townhouses around a village green, where the village green has cast iron fences and locked gates around it. Check it out on Google Maps and you'll see what I mean.

WendyNYC
08-02-2010, 06:56 PM
I'd probably stick her on the Upper West Side. Now it's full of young couples, either with a dog or very young kids. Seriously, a Saturday or Sunday morning and that's all you get walking the streets--couples walking their dogs, or couples pushing their kids in strollers (and a few pushing their dogs in strollers).

You can get a one bedroom in the area for between $1600 and $2000 a month. And yeah, it would be a walk-up, pre-war style building.

I'd agree. Either the UWS or the UES, east of 3rd Ave. The Upper East Side has a reputation for being very posh and pricey, but that's not the case for the eastern half (with the exception of East End Avenue.)

There haven't been subway tokens for a long time. Only metrocards. I don't know when it switched, but I've been here 10 years and never used a token.

stitchingirl
08-04-2010, 12:45 AM
Are there limits to how high the walkups can be? I mean, are walkups no more than..say six floors? Or are they all less or more floors?

I'll have to check out Google Maps for Gramercy Park.

I thank everyone again for helping me.

katiemac
08-04-2010, 01:18 AM
Are there limits to how high the walkups can be? I mean, are walkups no more than..say six floors? Or are they all less or more floors?

I'll have to check out Google Maps for Gramercy Park.

I thank everyone again for helping me.

It depends. I'd say your walk-up could be between four or seven floors. I'm not sure I've been in a building that had eight. Doesn't mean they don't exist!

momgotshocked
08-04-2010, 03:26 AM
both my kids live in NYC, and I am a frequent visitor. Here are the things I notice:

At night, in the apartments, no matter what floor, you can hear traffic noise - squealing tires and especially sirens. ALL night. But they sort of fade into background, and amazingly I have never had trouble sleeping. It almost forms a hum ( I know that sounds hard to believe, with sirens, but they are SO frequent that they don't stand out to me.)

Apartments are TINY. A "good sized" one bedroom could be no more than 500 sf. And, that would be expensive. At one point, we were thinking of buying for our daughter, because real estate had really dipped there, and I remember thinking that it was about $1000/sf. So that tiny one-bedroom would be 500K. And i think prices have gone up!

The city now seems safe (unlike 20 years ago). You can walk almost anywhere, take the subway anytime, and you no longer get the feeling that you have to worry. I contrast that to when my kids were little, and I would take them for a visit, and keep a TIGHT hold on their hands, glancing over my shoulder every other second. Not so, now. My kids saunter around Hells Kitchen at 1:00 am.

Most folks I know either cab or subway, everywhere. Keeping a car is almost as expensive as renting a second apartment. It's super easy to get a cab -- you just put one foot off the curb and stick a hand out. (Unless it is raining, then you can stand for hours, waiting) And cabs seem cheap, relatively. (It's probably actually that distances are short)

Most everyone obeys traffic signals, except in really back street areas (I mean, there's not much jay-walking.) So you wait in huddles with other folks at each intersection. It's a good spot for eavesdropping on stranger-conversations.

I have never seen more than a 4-floor walk-up. That doesn't mean they're not there, but in all of our apartment hunts I never saw one.

Hope these things help!

Namatu
08-05-2010, 10:05 PM
Ever since I got my hearing aids, I've lost my desire to travel anywhere. I don't do good in public places with alot of people, and I'm not good in parking lots alone. I can just imagine how loud NYC would be for me and that sort of poo-poos the idea of visiting it. Even with the help of someone, I don't know if I'd be brave enough to venture there. I'm going to disagree with others' statements on having a conversation on the street in NYC. I have a slightly moderate hearing loss and guess at a good portion of every conversation in public. On city streets, I guess at even more. The combined noise of the traffic alone (without regard to horn honking) provides a layer of interference that disrupts comprehension. In a place like Times Square, anyone I'm with definitely has to speak up and be close at hand. If they're behind me or in front of me and talking, I won't hear them. I might know they're saying something, but can't hazard a guess at what it is.


The hearing aids were suppose to allow me all this amount of freedom and now I'm hiding even more with them in. I just can't seem to get used to all the overwhelming noise that comes at me at once. I know a bit what you mean. Several months ago I finally got a hearing aid for the ear on the side everyone kept walking and talking on (it got too stressful), and there are times I pop out the battery to avoid the volume that everyone else gets. Sirens and horns are killer. I hope you don't mind my suggesting this, but if you're overwhelmed by the noise, maybe your audiologist can adjust the hearing aids to bring the amplification down and give you a chance to get used to it. Then it can gradually be moved up. I've always heard well enough to get by, yet I still have days where I don't want any amplification because I can't take the extra volume.

If you have any more questions on being in the city with a hearing loss, I can try to answer them. Though NYC isn't the city I live in, I do visit it often.

djf881
08-06-2010, 04:58 AM
The questions I have can only be answered if you've been there in person.

*How loud is the city? Do you have to raise your voice slightly just to be heard over the cars, the honking? (I'm hearing impaired and with my hearing aids, EVERYTHING is loud)


You don't have to yell to be heard on the street; traffic is only dense at certain times, and when it is, there's gridlock. But since the buildings are close to the street, you will street noise indoors unless you are on a high floor.



*Is there certain areas of the city that isn't so loud? I imagine side streets aren't as loud as if..say..you were on Broadway or Fifth Avenue or that.


The city is a grid. Streets are usually one-way and run east-west or west-east, alternating, but some of them have two-way traffic. I know 34th street and 42nd street do. The numbering starts downtown and increases uptown. So 3rd street runs through Greenwich Village and 125th Street runs through Harlem. Avenues run north-south and are numbered from east to west. There is no 4th Ave in most of Manhattan. Between 3rd and 5th are Lexington, Park and Madison Aves, from east to West.

There is less traffic in Greenwich Village and on the Upper East and Upper West sides, where most buildings are residential rather than the big office skyscrapers in Midtown and down on Wall Street.

Times Square is probably the noisiest place in the city, but you can still speak in a normal tone to somebody standing next to you. There might be interference from other people talking, and you are brushing past and surrounded by other people. When I am there, I usually keep my hand on my wallet in case someone tries to reach into my pocket.



*Are there certain smells that just linger in the air? I imagine that if you walk past restaurants that you can smell the aromas of the food. But what if you're not near any restaurants?


If it rains, the sewer backs up sometimes. Also, people put their garbage out on the sidewalk for pickup, which is gross.

As far as food vendors, there are a lot of street carts. They commonly sell roasted nuts, hot dogs, gyros or shwarma, and sometimes tacos.

Also, you might smell car exhaust, although there aren't a lot of trucks and many delivery trucks and buses are hybrid now.



*If someone who has lived in the city all their lives happens to be gone for two months, would the city still be like they remember do you think? Or do you think that they would pick something up in the air that they never noticed before?


The city has changed a lot since, like the eighties. It's cleaner now. They also kicked cars out of Times Square and set it up as a pedestrian space. It probably smells about the same. I think they've improved trash pickup since the 90's and they better enforce regulations about putting trash on the curb before trash day.



*Here in Ohio, one of the rock stations on the radio has a two hour show which plays requests from their listeners. "Delilah" is the show's name. Are there any stations that do the same? The ones that listeners can request those cheesy songs to dedicate to other people?


Nobody drives in Manhattan, so nobody listens to the radio except maybe cab drivers. Everybody walks around with iPods.

katiemac
08-06-2010, 06:40 AM
At night, in the apartments, no matter what floor, you can hear traffic noise - squealing tires and especially sirens. ALL night. But they sort of fade into background, and amazingly I have never had trouble sleeping. It almost forms a hum ( I know that sounds hard to believe, with sirens, but they are SO frequent that they don't stand out to me.)

This is going to depend on where you live. If you have a street-facing apartment, then absolutely, you'll get noise. But I have friends whose apartments are absolutely silent.

The expense/size of the apartments will depend on the neighborhood. It's true they're smaller and more expensive than other places in the country, but it's all relative in the city.

stitchingirl
08-08-2010, 05:39 AM
I thank everyone who has given however much information, no matter how trivial or how large. Everything is very helpful and useful.

I thank everyone from the bottom of my little author heart.