New York

How To Drown Out New York Noise


I always thought a white noise machine was a silly idea–it basically drowns out noise with other noise, which is kind of like killing a murderer. But in a fit of desperation, I got one and found the thing absolutely changed my life. I can sleep again! And I can hear myself not think!

See, I live in noisy nabe where there’s nonstop traffic, construction, alarms, sirens, and in the warm weather, scads of screaming suburbanites being willfully obnoxious on the sidewalks till the early morning. I’m often tempted to scream out the window, “Get a life, douchebags!” but I simply lay there and eventually go to sleep fantasizing about throwing acid in everyone’s face. More realistically, I could buy “Quiet Windows” for thousands of dollars, but then I’d never be able to open them ever again. Instead, I looked online and found a HoMedics Sound Spa Relaxation Sound Machine for 20-something bucks, and it turned out to be divinely efficient.

It’s an orblike device that you simply plug in the wall and turn a knob, causing it to emit “nature” sounds that render all other aural vibrations obsolete. I keep it on the “rain” mode, which totally works for me, but you can also put it on “ocean” (though the crashing waves give me a headache), “heartbeat” (that one’s best for babies missing the womb), “rainforest” (lots of chirping birds), “waterfall” (sounds like static), and “summer night” (more crickets than at a bad comedy club).

I’ll stick with my fake rain noise–it’s given me peace at night and the persuasive illusion of cleansing. So thank you, HoMedics. I’m screaming out my appreciation. Can you hear me?

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