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Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Should my title be perspectives or perceptions?
I am in Rio, on my computer in the apartment, which is in Ipanema off Rua Prudente de Moraes. The Apartment is on the 4th floor and faces the building next door to us. It is relatively back from the road, but none of this makes any difference, there is noise from 5am until about 1 am. Right now and through out the day my window is open to the sounds of the city; there is a very young baby crying, a baba talking loudly to a young boy in the apartment below us, sounds and smells of lunches being prepared, a car with a loud speaker selling something - I can never make out what they say it is just more noise - and finally the sounds of the ubiquitous traffic.
Even with most of the building not exceeding 5 stories and the trees lining the streets the noise is deafening - all day long.
I once read a novel where the heroine was up in the penthouse above central park in NYC, and she 'woke to the sound of the city coming alive', or some such literary phrase. This phrase leaves me feeling confused when combined with the noise I hear outside my window and the resent memories of walking the streets of Manhattan - I had to look carefully through my photos to find signs of heavy traffic in NYC - I don't remember any particular noise.
Maybe there is more noise up in the 'penthouse' then down on the sidewalks, but compared to our diesel driven, gear grinding buses here, the streets of New York where tranquil - the buses there are gasoline driven, and even with the taxi and buses using their horns with aggression, the sounds were non intrusive in the way I find the noise here. Maybe after 5 years in Rio no noise is like our noise! GingerV


  1. Noisy. Like Chinese torture....never lets up.

    It is part of Brazil of today. Years ago it was much less noisy...no TVs....few phones, many less cars, more respect for others.

    But those days are gone. What was Rio cool is now Rio loud. Better head back to the mountains and the flowers. :-)

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