When most people commute to work they most likely do so in the privacy of their own car. They have their radio on with music or talk gurgling out from the speakers, maybe they curse a little at the guy who cut them off or sing along to their tunes, but probably they’re the only person in the car.
In New York when you commute, either by foot or by train, the experience is really odd. Often as I’m walking to work from the subway, or riding on the subway, I notice how very, very loud the city is: the train on it’s tracks, the overspill of someone’s headphones pouring from their ears, car horns honking as cabs whoosh by, but if you listen really closely, particularly on the subway or a crowded sidewalk something becomes apparent; the people are silent.
If you live here or the next time you visit, do yourself a favor and hop on the subway during the hours just before or after work and listen to all of the nothing and how LOUD it is. It truly is something to behold. People call New York a “noisy city” but I don’t think they realize just how accurate that is. The city is noisy. The people are not.