A writer named Ann Votaw wrote an op-ed in the New York Daily News complaining about all the noise in the Dyckman neighborhood (Upper Manhattan). That in itself is no surprise but the thinly veiled racism and privilege displayed in the piece quickly drew the ire of readers, particularly on Twitter.
The piece opens with Votaw recounting an exchange with a kid playing a boombox loudly.
“You’re a d–k!” I yelled at the kid blasting his portable dancehall speaker on the sidewalk. Meanwhile, the elevated train roared. Two cars bounced with bass. “D–k!” I screamed, too stressed to enjoy wordplay on “Dyckman,” the uptown street where we faced off in the weekday sun.
Stereo Kid laughed. My middle finger emerged, a gesture I assiduously avoid in my work as a yogi and health educator. But as I walked home with my face on fire, I decided I was done being a noise victim in Inwood, a north Manhattan hamlet that, along with Marble Hill, has reported the city’s highest volume of 311 loud-party complaints.
Shocked by my aggression with a possible criminal, I opened the 311 app on my phone with shaking hands. I reported noise, knowing I would get the rote response: Police visited the area and saw no problems at that time.
So what exactly about “Stereo Kid” made him a criminal? Particularly since she was the one who cursed at him and gave him the finger?
The rest of the piece reads like a cliche gentrification trope with her tales of moving to NYC from the midwest over 10 years ago (yes, Dyckman was loud BEFORE she got there), her constant noise complaints falling on deaf ears and how she even consulted an environmental psychologist.
Needless to say, Votaw is getting dragged on Twitter and her mentions are looking like a war zone.
You can also best believe that plenty of residents of color have complained about the noise in Dyckman, or any other hood. They don’t get privilege-reeking op-eds in the local paper, though.
Peep some of the poignant reactions below and on the flip.
Photo: Facebook/La Marina