A few doors down is a man who sings at the top of his lungs. Across from the elevator is someone who plays the piano (well, the keyboard since we’re not allowed to have pianos in our apartments). Somewhere downstairs is a guitar player who sometimes gets carried away with the volume on his amp.
This morning they were all practicing stuff at the same time. The three of them combined did not make as much as one of my former neighbors did when he was trying to be quiet.
They aren’t the only people here who love making and listening to music. The guy across the breezeway has an extensive record collection and I can tell when he gets home or gets up because the music starts almost immediately. I met a guy on Sunday who, based on the equipment he was hauling up the stairs (he declined my help), is a DJ (or whatever the kids are calling that profession these days). Someone upstairs loves classical music. I think I heard the strains of a violin the other night.
The thing is? None of this noise is remotely intrusive or annoying–even when it’s all happening at once.
This is partly, obviously, because the building was built to keep noise contained. Each apartment is well insulated against noise. But I have to imagine that the other part of it is because the people who live here are apartment people and understand that noise carries so, so far, it has not ever been overwhelming.
It also makes walking through the building really fun. The only parts of our apartments that aren’t practically soundproof are the doors. As you walk down the hall you can hear people talking or singing or playing music or watching movies or TV inside their own spaces. It makes me happy to hear it all. The effect has this weird energizing but also comforting effect on me. It reminds me of what it was like to walk down the hall of my college dorm or, more accurately, down the hallway in the music building with all of the practice rooms….but without all of the existential angst or drama.
I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I’m really liking the new space.