New York is often described as bustling and exciting. What is not often acknowledged is that much of that feeling stems not from the arts and culture and vibrancy of the populace but from the fact that this city is really fucking loud. Should we who live here be so fortunate as to avoid death by some other means, eventually the daily cacophony of sirens, screeching subways, wailing babies, whining accordions, hollering guidos, metal thwacks, pounding sledgehammers, mysterious thumps, buzzing, wheezing, churning, drilling, ring tones, and random horror-scream shrieking — which, combined, give us that warm feeling of living somewhere where things are happening — will take its toll, according to Columbia professor Robyn Gershon.
"Noises on the street can be stressful and increase your blood pressure," said Gershon. Studies that have measured sound spikes have found "your blood pressure will increase, even if you yourself don't recognize that that spike is happening," Gershon said. "People don't get used to it, and they don't realize it."
And then they're dead.