Thursday, May 1, 2014

Blog Assignment 2: "What I Hear"

Working in the West Village off of 14th street and Washington, I, like most native to the area, do my best to zigzag through the hustle and bustle, at the beat of my iPod playlist of choice and get to my destination as fast as possible, with as little interaction with crowds and tourists. It's amazing how much we truly miss visually on a day to day basis, but especially sad/scary how much we miss auditorily. Most of us are guilty of doing everything possible to either relieve, numb, or enhance "reality" around us, especially while on our way to school, work, running errands, etc. I am glad that we had an opportunity to sit still and actually listen to our environment for this assignment in order to increase our sonic awareness and realize how much is actually going on around us. I walked into Coffee Bean for a cup of joe, made sure my scarf was securely wrapped around my neck (the area on 14th and 9th is known for its strong breeze), and proceeded to walk around around. It was about 6:45 pm, the sun was setting, and there was a lot of traffic as well as crowds of people walking around. At first it felt uncomfortable... almost PAINFUL not feeling those earbuds tightly packed into my ear canal, however, my anxiety quickly turned into curiosity. I was hearing sounds my iPod and conditioned brain helped me tune out. I heard snippets of multiple conversations as people rushed by me on their phones, with their friends and significant others, cars and Citi bikes beep their horns at slow moving traffic or people jaywalking... I could hear dogs barking about a block and a half away, laughter, a crying toddler, a girl wearing high heels walking by me, and as I got closer to 14th and 8th avenue, I could hear train announcements by the station. It was a lovely, awakening experience.

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