The part of the Bronx that we live in is very noisy. In fact, one of the only times where there is anything even remotely approaching quiet is at six in the morning, when nobody is awake. Except us crazy white people.
Every day there are car stereos, home stereos and portable stereos blasting rap, r&b, bachata, salsa, merengue and reggae from about 8 a.m. to about 2 a.m. You can hear snippets of conversations, people calling from their windows, our unofficial intercom system (in which people stand in front of the building and yell), street football and basketball games, arguments and singing. There are car horns, sirens, alarms, buses, trucks and policital propaganda trucks with loudspeakers. We're directly under the flightpath from LaGuardia airport, so airplanes fly over all day. On really bad days we're inundated with the sound of low-flying police helicopters searching for perpetrators of recently committed crimes. Garbage trucks and street cleaners come through once a day.
In our building there are people bumping carts of groceries and laundry up and down the stairs. There is a childcare facility on the first floor, so the sound of children playing drifts up to my windows. A playground is out back, sandwiched between buildings and the noise echoes off the walls. Dogs barking, stray cats fighting or in heat, birds chirping and singing (the rats, amazingly enough, are quiet).
We can hear our neighbors' movies and television shows. We can hear the kids bouncing around in the apartment above us, as I'm sure our downstairs neighbor can hear Georgia. Our downstairs neighbor is a bass player in a bachata band, so we hear him practicing the same song OVER AND OVER. Just the bass line. ARGH.
Bruce and I have said recently that our scale for judging what's obnoxious has been completely reset by the Bronx. What was intolerable to us before we don't even notice now. Georgia could probably sleep through a nuclear apocalypse at this point.
So what I'm getting at is, this past weekend, we had new sounds. Sounds that were totally alien to the Bronx. Sounds that drove me up the friggen wall for about two days.
Geese and chickens.
Some well-meaning folks who don't live in the neighborhood decided to build a chicken coop in the community garden that our apartment overlooks.
No really. Because exactly what this friggen hood needed was... chickens.