Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Midtown Sounds

My partner and I have lived in our present location for over eight years now. Before that we lived together in an apartment for four years. The decision to buy a place together was logical and made good financial sense. Quite a contrast from our decision to first move into that apartment together, which seemed impulsive and terrifying.

We wanted a condo in Midtown near the park and this place just kind of worked out for us. It's in an older, established complex, a rather small building compared with the boxy steel and glass high-rises which have sprung up around us. Places with self-important names like Metropolis, Spire and Luxe. To be honest, I never noticed the three story stucco building until our agent showed it to us, even though my commute took me past it twice a day for years.

Our unit faces inside, away from the street. I believe the listing called it a "courtyard view". It's a parking lot. But aside from the comings and going of our neighbors, the occasional late-night car stereo turned thoughtlessly loud, the morning bang of the sanitation workers collecting the trash, the twice-weekly buzzing leaf blowers of the landscaping crew, Sebastiano from New Jersey adjusting the timing on his Corvette engine at the oddest hours, and of course, somebody's touchy car alarm which is triggered by all of these activities -- it's much quieter than facing the street.

Sure, I can hear the occasional police siren, traffic helicopter, and the engines from the fire station three comfortable blocks away. But when it's late and I find myself unable to sleep for some reason or another, the predominant sounds at night are the freight trains. I have no idea exactly where these trains are, the closest tracks are miles away but I can hear them clearly. Right down to the faint blaring of the the train horns. It's not a disturbing sound at all, on the contrary. It's relaxing and evokes a feeling I can't really describe in words. Something between loneliness and the progress of daily life. And I drift back to sleep.

1 comment:

  1. I was raised in a town with the D&RG railroad going through it... The sound of the train horn with the crickets is a sound of childhood. Haunting yet homey when you hear it across the valley...