JT's Blog

Things that interest me, things that happened to me, things that I like, even some things that I don't like...

Perils of the Parkway

I've mostly enjoyed these last few months living near the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. It's a great central location in Center City, only a 15 minute walk to the Reading Terminal Market, etc.

Fireworks over the Art Museum during the Independence Day celebrations

During the Independence Day celebrations, I even had a nice view of the fireworks right from my window.

But I've been looking forward to a quiet Labor Day holiday. Unlike Independence Day, Philadelphia has no special connection to Labor Day, so many of the inhabitants spend the weekend down at the shore, leaving the city a virtual ghost town. 

For some reason ($$$, no doubt) Budweiser is trying to change that. Apparently this is the second year that they've sponsored the Made Deaf in America festival, the object of which seems to be to hasten the hearing loss of anyone who gets anywhere near the Parkway. Perhaps deaf people drink more Bud?

According to the publicity, they've invited the best musical groups to perform. Someone named JZ picked each one.

Now there's a problem right off the bat. Never trust anyone who goes by initials. I mean, you don't see me going around calling myself JT---

Uh, never mind.

Anyway I question the selection of performing bands. Certainly not the best. There's no Beatles, for one thing. Not even any second tier groups like the Rolling Stones or The Band. Maybe they had better things to do. 

Then there's some group called Bee-Yawns, or Bay-Yahns, something like that. Never heard of them. 

Now I wouldn't much mind this whole event, except-- 

--except my window faces the Art Museum, and although the nearest loudspeakers are at least four or five blocks away (roughly half a mile), I can hear the damned thumping bass in my apartment. <sigh>

I ran into one of my neighbors in the elevator yesterday after the "festivities" had started and asked if he could hear the music in his unit (which faces in a different direction). No, he couldn't, but he was planning to go out there shortly. He was surprised (maybe even impressed?) that I could hear the music in my place.

Mack's Ultra Ear Plugs, or Sleep Savers as I think of them

Anyway, I did find a solution. Mack's Ultra Ear Plugs, which reduce the noise by 32 decibels. That was enough to let me get a good night's sleep. 

I ran into my neighbor again this morning and told him that the ear plugs had worked. He didn't get home until after midnight, as he had stayed to hear the group Beyoncé--he pronounced it with three syllables, which seems a bit affected to me, but never mind.

"How was it?" I asked. 

 "Loud--and I wasn't even that close." I could have told him that.

Anyway, I understand one of the purposes of this noise fest is to keep folks in the city for Labor Day. I think next year I'll make plans to visit Canada or some other cool spot for the weekend.