Would You Rather?

Which is worse: Dealing with noisy neighbors, or accusations that you're too loud?

By Lambeth Hochwald  | September 11, 2017 - 12:00PM

Ah, noisy neighbors—an inescapable topic for apartment dwellers, whether you're being kept up at night by someone's new subwoofer, or the lady from downstairs is at your door accusing you of walking too loudly. This week we asked five New Yorkers if they’d rather have a loud neighbor incapable of keeping quiet or actually be the loud neighbor that others complain about.

Here's what they had to say.

Loud neighbors make great reality TV

I used to live above my landlord, and one time I had the audacity of walking across my floor at 10 p.m. in soft slippers, and she called me to say I was making too much noise. Sadly, I'm not yet able to levitate, so avoiding walking on the floor after 9 p.m. greatly impacted both my quality of life and the ability to get to the bathroom at crucial moments.

Therefore, I’d rather find ways to employ ear plugs or white noise machines than alter how I live. Even better, if they are a loud couple who argue often, I could cancel my cable, make some popcorn and make them my free reality TV.—Jennifer, Bay Ridge (pictured below)


I’m proud to be loud 

As someone who has lived in apartment buildings most of my life, I'd prefer my neighbors think I'm the loud one. I have dealt with a skyscrapers being built right outside my apartment window and the apartment above me being full gutted and renovated. I am learning electric guitar to play as loud as I can to thank them.—Carole, Midtown West

Better them than me

As much as I find loud neighbors really irritating, I’d rather not be the loud one myself. I prefer to dish out side-eye, rather than be the recipient. Also, my bagpipe-learning neighbor is good conversation fodder at cocktail parties.—Anne, Bay Ridge

Fight for your righteousness

I’d get to enjoy a sense of righteous indignation [if my neighbors were louder], and their noise would cover up the screaming coming from my place.—Leighann, Jamaica

Don't dish it out if you can't take it

You can have your house parties, your un-spayed Siamese kitties in heat, your sex dungeonjust don't pound on my wall when I get home at 3 a.m. after a late gig and simply wanna sit down with my chicken box and beer to watch Die Hard.—Eric, Washington Heights

The verdict: Call 'em crazy but most of these New Yorkers would prefer to have loud neighbors than being branded the noisy ones.



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