Another Quiet Boulevard

posted 9 Sep 2003, 11PM | 9 Comments

Ever since some theif or theives busted into the right rear window of my car and swiped my stereo last month, car rides have been much quieter. I probably drive more carefully, and I'm a bit more tuned to my surroundings while I drive. Today I noticed that

  • today's morning air had the teasing smell, motion and temperature of early autumn back home in the northeast. sigh.
  • nobody in this fucking town uses turn signals. You'd think that a city created for cars like L.A. would be conducive to semi-responsible driving, but you'd be wrong. Dude, I have no idea if you're veering right because your car has died, because you've fallen asleep, or because you're hoping to park that beast. And rompt left turns are impossible when I can't be sure whether or not the oncoming guy is going to continue coming on, or what.
  • the cement surface of Laurel Canyon is carefully cracked and grooved, presumably to prevent swervy slippage across the road's contours during our yearly rainstorm.
  • tonight the full white moon nearly eclipsed big, bright Mars.

Once I get a new stereo, I'll probably try turning it off more often. Sometimes music makes the world more alive, and sometimes it divorces us.

There are 9 Comments


10 Sep 03 at 11:36AM Matthew said:

I love to drive at night without the radio on, for several reasons:

  1. Tranquility - no music on a long, dark empty road, is just as peaceful as sitting on a mountain top gazing out at <insert diety of choice>'s wonders.

  2. Inspirational - without background sound to drown out my thoughts and stare into the nothingness ahead of me. I find myself wondering, calculating, evaluating and dreaming about different aspects of my life.

  3. Silence - PeggyAnn usually sleeps in the passenger seat at night and no music is just a little extra consideration for her.

BTW Ryan I love the design and functionality of you're new site. It's beautiful!


10 Sep 03 at 11:59AM ade said:

The stereo in my car is ALWAYs on and it's ALWAYS loud. That way I don't get to hear the groans, squeaks, bangs, clanks and sundry other old-car-in-motion noises that - in my head - are a precursor to veering madly out of control due to mechanical failure and smashing headlong into a concrete wall at 80mph.
Currently abusing the automotive eardrums: "Turn on the Bright Lights" by Interpol.


10 Sep 03 at 12:12PM ryan said:

I've abused Interpol while driving during several month long periods during the past year. One of the many things that album is made for.

Sometimes I need music just to keep me awake... one night while driving north out of Cape Cod, I had to blast Beck's Odelay and sing along to myself for my own survival... and I STILL fell asleep at the wheel.

If this has ever happened to you, it's terrifying: you don't fall asleep at the wheel, you wake up. Suddenly I founf myself on the left shoulder of 495, cruising on bumpy grass, runing over a couple of plastic reflector posts. Truly scary. 100 yards later and I would have driven off into a pretty steep ravine. The one guy driving behind me that night at 2am dropped back about a quarter mile after that... and you can bet I was PRETTY DAMN AWAKE.

Glad you like the design, Matt. I'm learning to appreciate grown-up design stuff like Usability and Accessibility.


11 Sep 03 at 06:57PM V said:

I suggest a one of those stereos that have the face plate that comes off. Or perhaps wrap your new stereo in barb wire. Or move back to the northeast where the air has been smelling like autumn for a few weeks.

I drive at least three hours a day. The stereo is sometimes so loud I see people looking to see where the noise is coming from. I sometimes feel self-conscience about it. Sometimes I don't give a fuck.

Sometimes it's better in complete silence and listen to your enjoy and enjoy driving. Just driving. Early in the morning the air is crisp and clean. Late at night it's warm and comforting.

Too bad you can't make the Fryburg Fair this year, Rye. You're just going to miss it.


11 Sep 03 at 06:57PM V said:

-enjoy +engine


15 Sep 03 at 01:44PM Alison said:

Could that have been said more eloquently? I agree wholeheartedly.


17 Sep 03 at 02:46PM steve said:

I am another one of those agravating travelers who blasts his stereo as loud (often louder) than recomended by both pediatrician and owner's manual.

Also, I'm considering another 'system upgrade.' I used to hate the cars that would drive around with a big ol' bass box in the trunk but I'm seriously considering a sub-woofer for my 1997 Saturn SL2 (in champagne!). My home stereo really came alive with the obnoxious box, I bet my Puffy and 2Pac albums will sound pissa cruisin Water Street banging their low-end 80's bass riffs, no?


19 Sep 03 at 09:58AM dan said:

Steve I highly recommend a sub box. Once you go down that path there is no coming back. Also, if you install your own stereo and do a half assed job because its dark out and you just need to have music in your car and you dont have time to do a good job, then it will occasionally shit the bed on you and you'll be randomly obliged to have quiet driving. That my friends, is the next level.


22 Sep 03 at 03:21PM ryan said:

I'm thinking about wiring a clock radio to my car battery. That should solve that problem nicely... and this way I can keep hitting snooze on my way to work!

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