Room for Improvement

Room for Improvement: New Yorkers aren't happy when the noise comes from inside or the outside

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Peace and quiet is hard to come by in NYC--and sometimes the worst disturbances come from inside your apartment.  Six New Yorkers share the things they wish their New York City abodes would do without--from noise, to appliances, to perma-scaffolding.

  • Rattling radiators I can’t stand how noisy our radiators are. When they go on in the middle of the night, there is always a really loud knock that startles me out of sleep. Then there’s some rattling, and then really loud hissing. I don’t understand why this can’t be fixed by the landlord or the super, but they tell me that’s just how it is in old buildings. I like old buildings but why can’t they update the heating? - Margit, Upper West Side
  • Creaky floors Our floors are so creaky that it actually wakes me up when my husband gets up to dress in the morning. Also, there’s a spot in the bathroom, under the tile, that creaks. I would fix the floors in this whole place because I’m starting to worry that the bathtub will fall into the apartment below soon. - Selena, Harlem
  • Stressful streets It is so damn loud here. The windows are already really thick. But it’s a corner unit at the corner of two very busy streets. Buses, trucks, sirens, you name it. My nerves are shot. Ear plugs would help, but with a new baby, we don’t really want to use them. We’re probably going to move soon, that’s how bad it is. - Ibrahm, Upper West Side
  • No Venetian plaster I’d love to skim coat our whole apartment. I’d especially like to fix the ceilings! There’s this strange Venetian plaster type design in the plasterwork. I think they put that there because they didn’t have the skills to get the plasterwork completely smooth. I don’t like the look of it.  It’s not too bad when you look from afar, but up close it’s like an old movie star: all cracks, lines, and signs of failing cosmetic work! - Clayton, Clinton
  • Solve the scaffolding mystery There has been scaffolding on our building for over ten years, and recently they put netting over my windows. I don’t know what’s going on but whatever it is on the roof that needs fixing, that’s what I want fixed. ASAP. - Dot, Harlem
  • The must-have appliance I would kill for a washer/dryer. It’s ridiculous we’re not allowed to have one (I know some people in the building have one anyway, by the way)  and it’s a must-have when I look for a new apartment when my lease on this place is up. I can’t wait. - Elena, Harlem

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