New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and with that celebration come beaucoup parties.

We have lots of them in our neighborhood. We live midway between St. Charles Avenue and Dryades Street in Central City, and our neighborhood has lots of apartments. So there are a slew of parties almost every weekend because most renters tend to be younger people who live in rentals. Parties mean alcohol, drugs, romantic encounters (let’s hope), music and, shall we say, “party sounds.”

Our bedroom upstairs is in the front of our house overlooking the street and a few months ago we were both awakened by screaming and yelling from a huge party in our ‘hood at almost midnight. Not in the street outside, but from someone’s apartment in the neighborhood.

I’ve always been a big supporter of live music, and I’m no slouch in the party department. My attitude is that if you choose to live next door to an already-operating bar or a music club, or in a neighborhood that has commercial establishments that have operated before you moved there, well, you chose that location to live, so don’t complain about the music or noise or hassle that comes with it. But if you live in a neighborhood surrounded by other residences, there probably should be a limit to tolerating “party noise.” We complained, and it stopped, which is the way it ought to be. (We never complain about the second lines and parties and crowds on Dryades or Mardi Gras for that matter; we knew about it when we moved in, and we look forward to it). But we didn’t sign up for wild parties at midnight at somebody’s house. Street parties and cultural celebrations, yes. Drink ’til you drop, and yelling—albeit in good fun—that disrupts the neighbors, nope.

Periodically, brouhaha concerning noise levels (usually music) impacting the people who live close to music clubs or bars comes to a head and the city imposes a crackdown, usually temporarily (think Mimi’s in the Marigny, Bourbon Street lawsuits anti-bars, street musicians, etc).

In the public consciousness, noise issues are probably taking a back seat to crime at the moment, but at some point in the future I’m sure some people living next door to a bar or a music venue will get all riled up and bring the subject up again and re-ignite the controversy regarding music, decibel levels and blah blah blah. Especially if they can find a wealthy attorney who will work tirelessly to file lawsuits to try to shut down music clubs on Bourbon Street (you know it’s happened before).

I don’t think the city will ever be able to stop music clubs and bars or the people who choose to live next to them, so let’s just say that if the place has been there for five years or more, then your neighbors should not get a say-so in closing down the music. Yeah, a reckless opinion, I know, but somebody has to put their foot down.

New Orleans is a music city. Get used to it.

But please quiet those wild parties down at midnight. Your neighbors will love you for that.

What time do you think is reasoanble for a party to quiet down so as not to disturb your neighbors?

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