mercredi 29 septembre 2010

Les problèmes de bruit se ressemblent...


Les problèmes de bruits ne sont pas uniques à Montréal, comme en témoigne la missive qui suit et qui était destinée au maire d'une grande ville Américaine.

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Mr. Mayor,

It is not only in my name that I feel the urge to write to you today, but also in the name of my partner. Not only as public figures who are heavily involved in city politics, but mostly as ordinary citizens who love the city in which we live and the neighborhood that we chose and that, in time and in return, adopted us too. We are also important actors of the nightlife, although, it is true, my partner is definetely much more of a night bird than I am (please don't tell him I referred to him as a "bird", he despises the word).

We have seen the city change over the years, generally for the better, and I think we can all agree, as you have aknowledged many times, that my partner and I can claim at least some of the responsibility for these changes, if not most of it. When we first moved here, the neighborhood was rather decrepit and the few cabarets and shady nightclubs were either struggling to keep their few regular customers sober enough to pay their tab or were simply a front for much larger operations destined to either flood the city with drugs or take it over altogether. Today, we must come to the sad conclusion that we may very well have cast the Evil out only to see it replaced with a new problem. We must also face the fact that, as powerful as we were in the face of Evil, my partner and I are, to our dismay, ill equipped to fight noise pollution.

These new nightclubs, bars and small concert venues that have popped up all over the neighborhood through the last few decades have rendered our lives now nearly impossible. We may work at night, we certainly do not work all the time and even we need to sleep. I know I certainly have felt the impact on both our lives and our relationship. We have both become much more irritable, and fights, although non-existant between us until not so long ago, occur more often now than I care to admit. Just yesterday again, when I offered my partner a nice dark green silk scarf that I had found in a small designer boutique that opened just a block away a few weeks ago, he got angry and asked what would the people say if he showed up to work with a silk scarf over his uniform. That was not the sort of reaction that I was expecting. I didn't tell him that I have been wearing those ridiculous gloves that he gave me to work, even though they are too big for my hands and hardly match to colors of my uniform. I didn't tell him that because I'm tired of fighting, and I am now calling upon you to see that we can have a decent quiet life again in the heart of the city we love. We still own an estate just outside the city, but we made the choice to live in the city and it is where we have been dreaming of bringing up a child if we ever decide to adopt.

Surprisingly, this situation has brought us much closer with some of the people that were once considered bitter ennemies. Some of these old adversaries, afflicted by the same plight, have now become dear friends, confidents and allies in this new struggle. My good friend Eddie (my partner calls him the Sphinx because he finds him enigmatic) told me that he'd never thought that living next to a bar would make his life so miserable and asked whether I knew a place louder than the loudest place in the neighborhood. I'm still struggling with that one. Eddie's neighbor, Selina, has apparently seen many of her twenty or so cats go deaf because of the growing noise issues. Our other friend, Jack, has told us that he had lodged at least two dozen noise complaints with the police against the owners of a concert hall located in the building next to his. We'll see who laughs last, he said.

Surely, you need to admit that if I felt compelled to blow the whistle on these noise issues and that if it is not only my partner and I that feel the repercussions of this trend, but also other important figures of the nightlife who have been active in this community for many decades, then it is not a problem that is to be taken lightly. I am sure and I hope that I now have your full attention and that you will do all that is in your capacity to adress this issue and make sure to bring back some peace and quiet to this city.

Sincerely yours,

Robin

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