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Why Do Rich People Love Quiet?

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New York in the summer is a noisy place, especially if you don’t have money. The rich run off to the Hamptons or Maine. The bourgeoisie are safely shielded by the hum of their central air, their petite cousins by the roar of their window units. But for the broke—the have-littles and have-nots—summer means an open window, through which the clatter of the city becomes the soundtrack to life: motorcycles revving, buses braking, couples squabbling, children summoning one another out to play, and music. Ceaseless music.

I remember, the summer before I left for college, lying close to my bedroom box fan, taking it all in. Thanks to a partial scholarship (and a ton of loans), I was on my way to an Ivy League college. I was counting down the days, eager to ditch the concrete sidewalks and my family’s cramped railroad apartment and to start living life on my own terms, against a backdrop of lush, manicured lawns and stately architecture.

I didn’t yet know that you don’t live on an Ivy League campus. You reside on one. Living is loud and messy, but residing? Residing is quiet business.

I first arrived on campus for the minority-student orientation. The welcome event had the feel of a block party, Blahzay Blahzay blasting on a boom box. (It was the ’90s.) We spent those first few nights convening in one another’s rooms, gossiping and dancing until late. We were learning to find some comfort in this new place, and with one another.

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https://cdn.theatlantic.com/thumbor/qlobxfoJbEf_NWxsFMjMsIZNd6E=/0x0:1200x1500/592x740/media/img/2022/07/28/DIS_Gonzalez_WhiteNoise/original.jpgJorge Colombo

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/09/let-brooklyn-be-loud/670600/

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