Sunday, February 3, 2008

Music to Our Ears?: Two Stories About Music, Sound and Quality of Life

In the Washington Post this weekend:

A story in Saturday's paper highlighted the struggles of Don Juan's and other Mount Pleasant businesses in their relations with neighborhood associations, city agencies and the area's changing demographics. Don Juan's has been involved in a bitter fight over where the owners can store trash outside of the building. At stake however, is not just who can store what, where, but the very essence of how independent Mount Pleasant businesses like Don Juan's are able to survive while seemingly being treated unfairly by the city and the controversial Voluntary Agreements. The article points out something I'd always wondered about: how some businesses have been able to sign agreements which allow them to host live music several times a year, while others are not. Why can't our commercial neighbors get a just shake? We should all be trying to play fair in seeking out the best for our neighborhood, Mount Pleasant. Start today people! It not that hard.

Sunday's Metro section featured those pesky and ear-numbing advertising video billboards at the corner of 7th and H Streets NW. In an article that mentioned Times Square about 20 times too many (really no comparison at all), some residents note their relative unhappiness at the current billboard situation. I fail to realize how the city overlooked this such a significant detail in the permit for these TVs, the fact that they emit audio. Not only are they garish in appearance, but the sound they emit is soul sucking. The AT&T ads run nearly 24 hours a day and compete with nothing! No other companies run adds on the boards. Monotony rules. Coca Cola ran some initial ads, but he point is that the boards are too loud, annoy passer-bys and keep the locals up at night.