Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ear damage while biking

One thing about riding a bike is that your poor ears are exposed to all the construction noise you pass. I try to hold a finger in my closest ear, but I always wonder if the reverberation off the buildings hitting my other ear are actually louder. I’ll have to ask someone who knows about sound waves.
Here’s a photo I took while riding through the famous Pearl District, which is supposed to be the greatest thing that ever happened to Portland. See that black thing in the middle that looks kind of like a crane but isn’t? That’s a pile driver. The thing’s hammering away every single day when I ride by, and it’s so loud it hurts. I’ve got my finger in my ear the whole time I’m near it. I don’t see anyone else doing this, which makes me wonder. Am I just ridiculously sensitive? I mean, ow! Once I saw a mother standing casually at a stop light with a baby in a stroller right next to where this is, and I wanted to jump off my bike and stick my finger in the baby’s ears. I didn’t, though. But it was hard. "Move the baby!" I pleaded silently in my mind.

This site is smack in the middle of a whole bunch of those new condos that cost $350,000 and up. In fact I bet there aren’t even any that low by now. If I had just bought one of those and found out I was going to have to listen to a pile driver every day for the next three or four years, I’d be mad as a hornet. I’d be furious. But that would be dumb, wouldn’t it?

People buy those places because they want to be right in the thick of the city and then they spend the rest of their life trying to get it to be less noisy and less like a city. The building and road re-paving is endless and the noise of the garbage trucks reverberates horribly on the sides of the tall close-together buildings, and the train goes right through there – what did they expect? Please make the garbage trucks come later, please make the train stop blowing its loud horn, please make the panhandlers go away, please make them quit building all those other condos like mine, they moan pitifully. What’s slightly amusing is that they’ve paid top dollar to be right on TOP of the train tracks and other city characteristics that used to define a low-rent district.
Ha. Ha.



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