Maybe that’s the wrong title for this post. Our intent isn’t to create an us and them with this post, but rather to give voice to some residents who have been writing in with a common concern: the balance between nightlife and the quiet life.
Some sample mails we’ve received lately include this from KBJB:
I’ve got a question for masses to weight in:
What are the merits of having night clubs like Babalu and Monsters Lounge situated in residential neighborhoods like ours? Having not slept ’till 1am yesterday due to deafening music (I am close to 45th) from ML and faced with cranky underslept child this morning, I am wondering – do local folks patronize these places?
I do understand that people have to make a living, but I’ve had drunk kids running through our back yard coming back from Goldies, car window smashed, and countless screaming matches in the middle of the night. Half the families on our street have kids, and while we want Wallingford to be commercially healthy and popular place, do we really want noise/crime magnets like these here?
And this one from Joyce (sent a few weeks ago):
I’m wondering if any of the other Wallyhooders, especially those who live near the Sea Monster Lounge heard the “music” blasting until 4 a.m. last Saturday night. We unfortunately live nearby and often hear the noises coming from the lounge but nothing quite like this past weekend and certainly not until 4am . So just wondering if anyone else is disturbed by this and if so I’d like to hear from them.
For ourselves, we’re ambivalent. We’ve had our fair share of late night to early morning parties at our house (especially Halloween), and have generally felt that, while weeknights ought to be quiet nights, Saturday night is, well, Saturday night. Late night weekend noise is part and parcel of living in a lively urban area. There’s peace and quiet in the sterile cul-de-sacs of Bellevue if the noise isn’t to your taste.
That said, being conscious of your neighbor’s well-being is an essential part of being a good neighbor, and, especially as summertime and open windows roll around, bars and restaurants with music (and patrons that need to step out for a smoke) need to recognize that they chose to open in Wallingford, not Capitol Hill.
So, we’re curious: what are people’s experiences? Where’s the balance?