Sleepless in New York. I realize this opening sentence may sound cliche, and perhaps it is, but it is the truth. After a brief stay in the City, I have concluded that I’ve either become increasingly sound sensitive or high maintenance regarding sleep than earlier in life.
As usual, my husband face planted the moment his head hit the pillow. I stared at his peaceful expression. I, on the other hand, struggled to slip into slumber. I pondered how he could tune out the cacophonous clamor occurring right outside our window.
I’ve been visiting NYC my entire life. I have fabulous friends and family who live in this one-of-a-kind state. I love the city’s vibe. The vigorous and vibrant energy fills my being the moment I get there. Its diverse culture invigorates me. And the aromatic cuisine on every corner beckons. So I feel a bit conflicted by what I am about to write.
How does ANY human, besides my husband, sleep deeply and completely in such a stimulating, boisterous environment? I lost count of the garbage trucks that creaked and dumped or collected mounds of trash. There must be a never ending supply of waste in the City.
I swear ambulance sirens crescendoed with every passing minute. And the honking? Why must drivers blare their horns at 3 a.m.? It sounded like the sections of an orchestra were rehearsing without a conductor!
I thrashed. I huffed. I inhaled and exhaled. I silently prayed for an intermission. None of my wishes worked. I was wide awake. The more I attempted to ignore the noise, the louder it seemed to become. And by the way, I had a sound machine whooshing from my iPhone. For those of you who are curious, NYC’s determined fervor was no match for my phone’s white noise. You can guess which won.
I seek tranquility and thrive in a quiet ambiance. I’ve realized that I crave serenity more as I get older. However, some former New Yorkers have told me they miss the bustle and rumble of the city when they move to the suburbs or out of the state. I can understand and appreciate that perspective.
And I’ve lived in Florida for more than four decades. I have a theory that nearly all native New Yorkers flock south after mid-life, which I absolutely love! There is a phrase of which I am quite fond: You can take a person outta New York, but you can’t take the New York out of the person.
After those restless hours, I realized how grateful I am to live in Florida. We have the best of both worlds. Cities that DO sleep, but a state composed of natives and others. And some of my personal favorites, of course, are those who bring their New York spirit to the Sunshine State. You know who you are! ?
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