Would You Rather?

Would you rather have a musician as an upstairs neighbor, or a family with small kids?


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All noises aren’t created equal. Living with a concert accordionist upstairs might cause one person incredible angst, but for another a running toddler might make a far worse neighbor. We asked five New Yorkers which sort of racket they'd rather live with if given the choice. Their answers are as varied as their situations.

Strike up the band

“I would definitely prefer having musicians as upstairs neighbors. Who wouldn’t love in-house entertainment? I wouldn’t mind having a personal band at home.”—Sarah Ayache, Hell’s Kitchen

Kids gotta sleep sometime

“While if I’m being really honest I dislike both options, I’m going to say that I’d prefer a family with small kids living overhead. Eventually they’ll tire out, but a musician? He or she could practice to the wee hours. No thank you!”—Rene Brown, Cobble Hill

Early to bed means no late set times

“I’d way prefer to have noisy kids living upstairs, because at least we probably go to bed at the same time. My light’s generally out by nine.”—Cole Ledford, Upper West Side

Opposite schedules attract

“I’ll take a musician any day of the week. They can practice during the day and play gigs at night—I never have to hear them!”—Eleanor Byars, Greenwich Village

Walk down memory lane

“Right now, there’s a small child living upstairs and the pitter-patter of her feet as she runs across the living room floor is oddly comforting, and it brings me back to when I had a toddler. By contrast, a musician could be terrible. If he or she was singing or playing trumpet and they stunk, there would be less that I could do about. Now excuse me I have to go play drums.”—Brian Kaplan, Upper West Side [Ed. note: Brian is the author's husband.]

The verdict: It’s a close one but a majority of these New Yorkers are all in for toddlers.



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