39th Avenue & Northern Boulevard


Looking northeast on Northern Boulevard

Back in September 2014, I moved from Brooklyn to Long Island City (in Queens). My new neighborhood was much closer to my regular job, so I was walking to work everyday. One morning at the corner of 39th Avenue and Northern Boulevard I heard a beautiful combination of sounds from traffic, trains, and people. The next week I recorded the sounds of that corner from 09:00–09:05 from Monday, September 15 to Sunday, September 21. So finally, in honor of World Listening Day, I’ve published the field recordings online.

The recording is all seven days stitched together in order. There is about a one-second fade out/fade every five minutes when the recording changes to the next day. The things that stick out to my ear is the occasional subway in the distance (the N or Q trains on the Astoria Line), and the sounds of diesel engines that pop out from the background or gasoline engines. Another thing to consider is how much quieter Saturday (25′00–30′00) than the other days—you can even hear the birds.

These recordings were made using an Olympus WS-210S Digital Voice Recorder. The device has excellent pickup and a great microphone; I recommend it for recording anything from lectures, to live music, to field recordings. During my recordings however, I wish I had thought about how to shield it more from the wind—which was the greatest source of “noise” on these recordings.

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