With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How Loud Is Too Loud?

Except for the extraordinarily wealthy, living in an urban environment means living in close proximity to others. It also means you have to tolerate others and at times curb your own behavior for the benefit of your neighbors. One thing that can be tricky in the urban environment is determining the appropriate volume level at which to play music. While we all love playing our favorite music at a healthy volume, we have to remember that our favorite music isn't necessarily our neighbors favorite music and even if it happened to be, our neighbors might not be in the mood to hear it at the moment.

It can be a tricky dichotomy especially when alcohol is involved. Our crack research staff has determined that as the amount of alcohol consumed increases, so does the volume level that one judges to be appropriate. The type of music also effects the volume level. In the example above the band Motley Crue is being played. It's hard to play a band like Motley Crue at a low level. So city dwellers what do you think? How do you determine how loud to play your music? Is the music above at an appropriate level? Sad City yearns for your knowledge.


  1. Yay, my building! As a former serial offender I can tell you that with a phone call downstairs the neighbors can and will dispatch the Murphy security staff to deal with the noise.
    Having said that, the decibel level in the video would not be high enough to disturb my neighbors. It reverberates in the hallway pretty good but the walls and floors are good insulators here!

  2. Ah, the age old headache of music in a multifamily apartment building. When I lived in Washington Heights In NYC I was constantly bombarded with Latin music at all hours of the day. I often wonder if my white over-privileged background made me especially intolerable of other people's noise.
    Though everyone should be able to listen to their music at an enjoyable level, I think it comes down to one's manners and respect for your fellow human beings. We're all in this together, right?

  3. I'd recognize that terrible carpet anywhere!
    As the other "Anonymous" said, it's a good building, and the walls/floors are far better than my old multi-family in West Hartford. I could hear every stupid phone conversation the 14 year old downstairs had.

  4. The trick is to keep the speakers elevated because otherwise you make the floor an extended part of the tweet-woof vibration wave and that's what people find VERY objectionable.
    Also the blogger failed to note the time of day. This is a tolerant bunch prior to 10 p.m. Even 80 year olds can appreciate a little Crue now and again.

  5. How about the Ice Skating Rink in downtown Hartford that was built only 150-200 feet away from the residential buildings! You can only imagine how much noise it creates and how much disturbance it brings to the people who live close to Bushnell Park! Thanks to Hartford Mayor Segarra, the iQuilt, and Hartford Winterfest this nonsense is going to continue until the end of February!

  6. I'm not giving up on this post. (By the way I'm the douche who posted the comment on the Travelers.) In this building we inhabit the perfect nexus of the urban paradigm - Fab urban living at very modest cost. Take that Riverpoint.
    - Roger

  7. And look what I found:

    (Hartford) - Did you know that it is against the law in the City of Hartford to make noise that can be heard 100 feet from its source at any time of the day or night? In 2009 the City of Hartford adopted an ordinance regulating noise in the city to any noise that one can hear from a distance of 100 few away from its source anywhere and anytime of day.

    And here is more:
    To report a noise complaint day or night, call the Hartford Police Department at 860-757-4000. Violation of the City of Hartford noise ordinance can result in a $90 fine, judge-ordered community service, or a jail sentence of up to 25 days. The City of Hartford's noise ordinance, (Municipal Code Chapter 23, 23-1 through 23-8) is enforced 24 hours a day.

    If you want to read the entire article, here is the link:

    Well, what can I tell you...
    This “pure political" ice skating rink in the Bushnell Park created so much NOISE and inconvenience for us, residence of downtown Hartford that many of my neighbors are planning to move to other CT towns within next few months.
    Thanks to ice skating rink sponsors, Mayor Segarra, the iQuilt, and Hartford Winterfest now we all know that Hartford is NOT a place to live.
    Very Sad City Hartford indeed.

  8. the Police Dept. lets you know you can play your music as loud as you'd like from 9am til 9pm...anything before or after is a no-no...that's hartford for ya, :D

  9. that noise ordinance was ONLY for the Ice Cream truck who's decibles were so annoying people were actually complaining. These are the same people who blast their Merengue and Salsa at 9 am on Saturday while they clean their place up. I know, my mom used to do that and it was annoying.

    wow, the Skating Rink will make people leave now? I thought all the people living in Downtown were the younger Y Generation?...sad that the Mayor could not foresee this as an inconvenience to the residents, all the while crime is ignored in the Northend...ah, well, pretty much everywhere except for the West End, :D

  10. It hasn't snowed for an entire day and the parking lot has been cleared of cars for nearly 8 hours but the hartford insurance company thinks 2 am is the perfect time to bring in dump trucks and payloaders to finish clearing their lots. Talk about terrible neighbors and bad corporate citizens; some if us in the area need to work in the morning.

  11. Last I checked 2280 Main Street (in the rear) does not have a license yet for approx 3 years of complaining they continually play loud music that you can hear from a block away (by have parties and paid events/concerts). The music is so loud it makes the pictures on my apartment walls rattle, yet when the police is called most times they continue or lower the music for 1/2 hour and turn it back up. They have started as early as 1200pm and end as late as 5:30 a.m. The average start time these days are approx 6:00pm - 8:00pm, with ending times at 10:00pm - 2:00am. most week ends sometimes starting on Thursday. After leaving work no one wants to listen to music so loud you can't hear your own tv or hear yourself think. Most times you just want peace and quiet.

    The last time I tried to report the violation I asked for a case number, I was told a case number would not be issued until after the third call. I have called over and over again for over two years, and still they continue. I guess the police is waiting for someone to get hurt or killed before they close them down, and then inform the public they were "PLANNING A RAID IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS" as they said in response to another place with a similar situation, "no license". When will the City of Hartford put the citizen first instead of people who don't live in Hartford. The owner of this building lives in Bloomfield where they don't tolerate such blatant disrespect for the laws and police. Just think of the non taxable money they are making when you see the 2280 parking lot, Main Street and the side streets filled with cars and you hear the DJ and/or loud music playing. If someone got hurt at one of these events would the City of Hartford / Police be partially responsible by ignoring the complaints and laws.