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October 30, 2007


One of the things that give New York City its distinctive quality is the Giant Early-Morning Banging Machine Program (GEMBMP). Every weekday at about 3 a.m. city workers fire up giant diesel-powered banging machines, which rumble around midtown Manhattan banging things as hard as possible. From time to time they back up, emitting, for safety purposes, a piercing BEEP BEEP BEEP sound that is audible in Maine. This program protects hotels guests in midtown from the dangers of sleep, which has been linked, in medical studies, to productivity. 


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Sleep! Who needs sleep? I haven't slept in years.

Ahhhhhh....the music of the city!!

(Kind of a cross between Stomp and Michael Bolton. Hideous)

The city that never sleeps has to protect its reputation. Maybe that's why everybody is so grouchy.

Productivity?!? *gasp* Are we allowed to use that word on a blog like this?

I recently visited NYC for the first time and was amazed. Wonderful history, wonderful architecture, culture, parks, fountains, food, and on and on. But everything is under construction. What is that about?

welcome to nooo yawk!

Nurse Tammy, we are not afraid to deal with the controversial topics.

the city that never sleeps makes a ton of garbage. when I lived in Manhattan, the trucks started running at about 3 a.m. and finished for the day at about 10 p.m. that allows for a few hours sleep, just enough to be cranky. gotta love nooo yawk!

They only do that to scare away the bedbugs.

*yawn stretch mmmmmmmm*

Morning! I fell asleep last night to the sound of crickets softly chirruping, tree frogs croaking, an owl hooting in the distance. Just woke up to the sound of sweet birdies chirping, a rooster crowing some where far off, the smell of fresh brewed coffee drafting in from the kitchen....

Hi Dave & Ridley! Happy Tuesday! Ain't it just a grand day?

casey, that was mean! (lmao)

You're supposed to sleep in NYC???

Lack of sleep... that's what coffee is for, along with nasal irrigation during snork-worthy guffaws induced by this blog.

Exactly, Baron. That's why they put a Starbucks™ in every friggin corner.

I grew up in NYC and I could never sleep when I visited the country. Too many crickets!

Dave -- be thankful that this was not the billboard atop your hotel.

Thank you for clearing that up for me, Dave. A year ago I stayed in a sleazy dumpmidtown hotel with a window on the street. When the beep, beep, beep woke me up, I tried to look out to see what it was, but the window was so dirty, I couldn't see what was happening. I saw a large vehicle (I thought) moving, heard the clang, bump, bang, and, of course, the ever present beep, beep, beep. It's a relief to know I wasn't imagining anything.

Katie - same with my cousins. They'd visit us and be skeered of the quiet...and the dark. As in REALLY dark.

Of course we are, Nurse Tammy! Every so often a link gets posted to a so-called "Productivity Enhancer".

"Productivity", Tam'?

Only in an editorial sense ... or as a curse ...

Which, when one thinks about it, could be the same thing ...

Dave, shoot them in the thigh.

The other amusing productivity preventer that I love in NYC are those steel plates that they place over the holes dug in the streets. CLANG CLANG. Everytime a car (and there are literally dozens of cars in midtown) drives over them.

Hey, Writer Dude, long time no see. Nice link. May be the high school kids from here in NJ - they all seem to be in "Band" and never in school.....

Coyotes wake me up at night. First time I heard it, I thought cats were eating laughing toddlers.

Olo, i've always found that sound very soothing.

Think of it this way, Dave. It's like Fidel dying every morning.

Along with the BEEP BEEP BEEP and the CLANG BUMP SMASH, my favorite early a.m. sounds of the city are the sudden 180-decibel WHIRRRROOOOPPPP noises when they start up the bus engines. Stand next to a bus when that happens and you can pretty much go right to the nearest cardiac transplant station.

BTW, hearts are usually readily available from street vendors at steep discounts.

Heh! try getting a Louis Vouitton heart at a discount from those tough Chinese women!

For heaven's sake, whattaya wanna DO at night? Huh? Sit around milkin' the cows? Cannin' the preserves?! Lay around sleepin'?

*SNORK!*@marina's Dave reference to Ed Koch.

Thanks Meanie, you got it! That's my favorite Dave article of all time.

WW,you find the sound of cats eating laughing toddlers to be soothing?

Fun facts: OSHA requires the back-up alarms on heavy equipment. OSHA also requires hearing protection for workers around heavy equipment because (wait for it.....) the constant exposure to the back-up alarms!!

Marina - the "Can New York Save Itself?" column was one of my two faves. The other was the one on natural childbirth.

*Starts giggling all over again*

CJ - A friend of mine from my young childhood is part of the reason for those backup alarms due to her death. She was an employee of Great America in Gurnee, IL, and walked behind a truck that was backing up. She didn't realize it. I was 12 at the time. Her daughter was 13. How odd that this is a part of today's discussion. Ginny was just on my mind yesterday for this. I think of her often when I hear the trucks. I suppose if you're going to have a memorial tribute, something that keeps others safe is a good option.

Banging Machine WBAGNFARB

or a p0rn flick.

layzwee: *snork* at image of dozens of cars in Manhattan.

Most of us live in the liveable Outer Boroughs and generally get to sleep until 6 or 7 before the Banging Back-Up Beeping Trucks arrive, and real New Yorkers can sleep through even that.

Next time, Dave, either

1. stay outside of Midtown
2. use earplugs
3. there is no #3

I was two rooms down and equally awake. I'm starting to been in my sleep--if I slept.

I meant "beep" but I 'm in the apple store with dave,checking out the iPhone.

Keep practicing, Ridley! And buy an iPhone.

I'm not one for country noises at night. If I heard an owl, I'd have to go to a hotel.

WAVES to Ridley!!!!

Yes, Ridley - we've seen the pictures!!

CJ's right, (for once)-the warning beeps exceed OSHA's noise limitations. Having worked in construction, I'm really glad they do.

Reminds me of being at Costco.


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