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This one’s a toughie: After all, a smelly building can really wreck your mood, especially if it’s a stale onion and garlic combo. But living in a loud building can mean earplugs, white-noise machines, and conversations with the neighbors and the authorities that can lead to long-lasting conflict close to home. So what’s worse? We asked five New Yorkers for their take.
Pass the candles
“Maybe I can live with a bad smell, especially since you can find the source and stop it or cover it up with some candles. You don’t have much control over noise, especially if it’s construction noise!”—JP Dimalanta, Brighton Breach (pictured below)
Smell conquers all
“I’d definitely rather live in a noisy building. Working from home means that I would be constantly surrounded by the smell. If it’s noisy, I can just put on headphones to drown out the noise!”—Jess Yuhouse, West Village
Noise is harder to block out
“I’d rather make Glade a budget line item than not be able to hear 'The Crown’ on Netflix.”—Tyler Spicer, Washington Heights
Windows open, don’t they?
“I’d definitely take a smelly building over a noisy one because it’s easy to tackle scent on your own. Trust me, living in New York City, I've done this before, and quite recently. Light some candles, spray some Febreeze, and keep some windows open. Noise would drive me absolutely insane and I’m not one for confrontation with others."—Jenny Chang, Staten Island
A scent-averse sensibility
“I’d much prefer a noisy building, because I wouldn’t want my clothes to smell, and I feel like whatever reason there’s a smell is either gross or hazardous.”—Melendy Forman, Williamsburg
The verdict: Pass the incense. It's close, but a majority of these New Yorkers would rather cover up the smells than deal with endless noise.
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