The East Village is the noisiest neighborhood in New York City
Looking for some peace and quiet? Stay out of the East Village, the Lower East Side and Williamsburg.
Those three neighborhoods are the noisiest in New York City, with 2,108 noise complaints coming from the East Village over the last year, according to an amNewYork analysis of 311 data.
The Lower East Side is the second-noisiest area in the city, with 2,069 complaints, and the perennial noisemakers in Williamsburg are No. 3 with 2,061.
The vast majority of complaints from the past 12 months in all three areas came from restaurants, bars, and parties in apartments, and the vibrant nightlife that permeates the areas is both a blessing and curse for residents, experts said.
"People are coming in from all around the world to go out to our restaurants and experience our nightlife, so it's about finding the right balance where businesses and residents can work and live together harmoniously," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.
"These areas with the most complaints are hot spots for dining and nightlife and attract New Yorkers and out-of-towners, which makes for a very high concentration of people, so of course there's a higher concentration of people in the street who could generate complaints," he said.
Rigie added that restaurants in these areas are conscious of the residents' complaints and have "invested thousands and thousands of dollars in soundproof walls" and often work with "sound consultants."
Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, which oversees the East Village, said the area has had the most complaints "for many years" and that it's "nothing new."
Still, some residents said the noise is too much.
"I've lived all around New York, uptown, downtown and all sorts of places, but this neighborhood has the weirdest noise," said Brian Lelder, 35, who lives on East First Street.
"We live in the back [of the apartment building] and high up, but we can still hear everything," he said, adding that the area is the loudest he's ever lived in.
Only two Brooklyn nabes cracked the top 10 -- Williamsburg and Prospect Heights -- but residents in those areas still had plenty to kvetch about.
"Before it was a lot of noise from gang fights. Now it's the bars and restaurants. Now it's parties," said Raul Hernandez, 52, who lives on South 2nd Street in Williamsburg.
Still, Rigie said more sound complaints can often signal healthier growth in the hospitality industry, which is always good for the areas and the city.
"The industry has done so much to grow some neighborhoods that were once perceived as undesirable, and turned them into desirable areas to live in," he said.