Comment of the Day: That Houston Sound

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THAT HOUSTON SOUND “I used to live 750 feet from 610. And before that, I lived 1,000 feet from active railroad tracks and kept my windows open at night. The sound that eminated from these sources would definitely exceed City or State standards, but is exempted. I had no right to silence and nor did I care. I even sort of miss the trains and the booming noises from the hump yard a mile to the south. I wish we had that in the Boulevard Oaks area and the Museum District. It’d make them a little more authentically Houston.” [TheNiche, commenting on Headlines: Noise Ordinance Complaints; Galveston’s Coming ‘Maginot Line’]

10 Comment

  • Niche, you can still have all that in the area. I used to live on Vassar, which is on the fringe of BOCA but still part of it, and I would pretend that the sound of neighboring 59 was the ocean. Beachfront property without the view? It provided a nice hum and bit of white noise, nevertheless. I will say, however, that I will take train noises over crotch rockets zooming past at 2 in the morning any day.

  • That reminds me of a time when my suburb-dwelling brother came to stay with me while I live in Center City, Philadelphia. He demanded to know how I could sleep at night. Well, turns out that I couldn’t sleep with the silence at his place. I guess that’s what years of living near a train, fire dept, etc. can do for you.

  • Me too. I liked the trains a great deal more. Some nights, they were almost musical.

  • I live next to the pierce elevated, it’s an ocean of humanity against the backdrop of downtown. It keeps me regular. When I lived in the suburbs of Sugar Land/Tomball/3rd Ward my sleep patterns varied too much and I would get mental lag; that Houston sound indeed.

  • I used to live near the airport in San Antonio. It bothered me at first, but after a month, I was used to it. If you’re a light sleeper, don’t move somewhere that there is noise.

  • Traffic and train noise is much different from loud music. You can get used to the traffic and train noise. I live near enough to the freeway that I get the “ocean sound” effect which is nice. I also live near 2 rr tracks.

    Music shouldn’t be played loud enough that it can be heard or felt on someone else’s property.

  • “Houstenfreude”

    Definition: Pretending to take pleasure in and/or find merit in all things miserable in Houston.
    Examples: lack of zoning; noise pollution; destruction of historic architecture; endless strip malls and McMansions.
    Origin: Comes from a mix of German and Czech when the original settlers bought land in and around Houston sight unseen and would boast about how hardy and abundant the mosquitos were when asked by visiting relatives how they could stand to live in such a fetid swamp. Has evolved to more recently to espouse the value of a 22 story high rise in a residential neighborhood and to poo poo people who expect bars located in and around residential areas to obey sound ordinances.

  • Sorry, Old School, but despite your attempt to make “comment of the day”, it’s already been taken.
    Also, no one is particularly talking about taking pleasure in the noise but rather with how we deal with it or get over it or don’t really care about it in the first place.

  • Old School, I expect that all of Houston’s citizenry and leadership should have a respect for what is lawful and what is not, and that they should not violate the spirit of existing law if they desire to advocate that it be changed or that a consequence of the existing law is undesirable.

    This is why the City or individual residents singling out and harrassing Buckhead Partners was not appropriate, but proper enforcement of revised noise ordinance (even as its merits are publicly debated) is appropriate. In the former example, society’s actions are steered by blue-blooded good ol’ boys; in the latter example, justice is administered in a fair, equitable, and orderly manner to all parties involved.

    So actually…if you know your antebellum history with respect to contrasts and conflicts between the white southern planters and central European immigrants, your characterization of our city’s cultural attitude seems bizarrely accurate. And I am proud of that and its myriad aesthetic consequences.

  • I agree TheNiche.

    I got adjusted to trains passing every 30-60mins in north Louisiana when I was in college. During the winter quarter the AC was not on in the dorms during my first year in college. I had to have the windows open and hear the trains pass all night long. Later I got an apartment near the tracks. It was cheaper and the trains didn’t bother me at all anymore.

    My townhome in Houston is only a few blocks from tracks in Cottage Grove. The trains and the rail yards are more environmental noises. Adding on top that the corridors are silent zones now, I only hear the trains wooshing down the tracks. On clear nights I can hear the traffic on I-10 when I can have the windows open.

    It’s a part of city life. If you don’t like the noise, live far from anything that makes it. And again, having the clubs nearby has more to do with the choice of housing versus the clubs being there. I’ve said it before: buying homes along the Washington Ave corridor even before the street started seeing serious commercial development had to trigger something in a buyers head that the street will and could become busier in the future.

    Midtown and Montrose are areas where clubs and night life have a present are fairly urban. Don’t live there if you don’t like city noise.