For my soundwalk, I took a stroll along and through Shore Road Park in my neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. I can't say that any of the sounds I heard were surprising, but without any distractions, I was definitely more aware of the general ambiance of my neighborhood.
The most obvious keynote in my neighborhood is the traffic. Along the western edge of the park is the Shore Parkway, a highway which meets up with the BQE and transports many of the residents in Bay Ridge into Manhattan. Since I chose a time in the afternoon between rush hours, only about twenty or so cars would pass by in a minute, give or take. I always liked the sound of rubber rolling on concrete and pavement, and the high-pitched sigh of cars traveling back and forth could almost be considered therapeudic.
Another major keynote that may be somewhat unique to Bay Ridge is the sound of the New York Bay. Even with the traffic, I can hear the unmistakable lapping of water up against the rocky shore of Brooklyn. I love that sound. Complimented with the sound signals of ship's horns and bells, a walk through my neighborhood park reminds me that New York is not only a busy city, but a busy port.
As it happens, Shore Road Park has its own special soundmark. On game days (baseball, of course) an elderly Yankee fan has his radio tuned to WCBS AM radio, blasting the Yankees game from a bench in the park. Not only does it make me nostalgic for a period of time I wasn't around for, but the sound of my team playing against the background of the harbor and the traffic is a comforting reminder that I am home.