Sidewalk loudspeaker at 376 Broadway is tormenting neighbors

R. sent the most incredible (read mind-boggling, annoying, even infuriating) video: it turns out someone working at 376 Broadway, the Mandarin Plaza condo on the southeast corner with White, makes regular use of the camera, and worse, the loudspeaker attached to the eastern corner of the building near Cortlandt Alley to yell at and harass people using the public plaza on White.

It started about a year ago, R. said, and it goes on at all hours. At ear-shattering volumes, he said, they scream, “No sitting on the brick wall” or “No smoking in the gazebo” or “No lying down, yes, you, I see you.”

He said he has also heard them insult people, with comments like, “Why don’t you get a life?” as well as use a fake police siren to scare people (see video). He has heard the loudspeaker as early as 6:30a and as late as 1:30a. “Of course we have called 311 dozens of times, and of course nothing has come of it.”

Imagine what it’s like if you live in the building! Which is part of why I find this so ridiculous: you would think the condo itself would not allow this behavior. The plaza does have hours (which I will check with the city) so maybe they think they can do this during after hours?

“Can you imagine if every building in the city had their own public announcement system that they used to shout their displeasure at people living their lives? The result would be utter and complete chaos. The city would be unlivable. What makes these people think they are entitled to vocalize with such impunity?”

R. and his neighbors have called the front desk and asked them to stop, but R. says the people on the other end have insisted that it is their “right” and “job” to do so, and they have stated point blank that they will “never stop.”

I checked with the Department of Environmental Protection, thinking that was the right place to go for noise, but they said while they could enforce the use of a speaker under the Noise Code, assuming the sound is excessive, their inspectors would have to hear it happening. They thought this would be better handled under the guidelines for the use of POPS, or public open spaces. That’s my next stop…



  1. Is the loudspeaker within reach? Could a baseball bat address the issue?

  2. Holy cow, I don’t live in this building but near enough that I can hear the siren & warning. Until now, I thought all the siren noise was due to the proximity to the nearby jail. But given the jail is being demolished, I now realize that this is just some vigilante doorman gone rogue!!

  3. Never mind the people who live in the building (who have direct access to the people making these “announcements” and should be unleashing hell on them) but I feel most for the people on the receiving end in the plaza. NYC has few public places as it is … there’s nothing worse than when those places are made purposefully uncomfortable and inhospitable. This is just a further extension of “hostile design” and capitalist hellscape. This is what we get for allowing our urban design to purposely restrict behavior. It starts with benches with an extra armrest in the middle and becomes noise as a psychological torture device. What’s next?

  4. I live in the condo building and I never heard the sirens. The public space is a problem area. People urinate, defecate, fornicate and do drugs there after hours. The condo board is crooked and nothing is done to manage that space. The security is just doing what they can.

  5. All this is just a bunch of liberal wine-o’s. The loud speaker is only used when there is homeless doing drugs , exposing themselves , harassing bystanders, urinating. Defecting the gazebo area, sexual acts, graffiti and acts of violence. The building is actually doing a lot more than the surrounding residents are doing to stop all this madness . Keeping the Property safe . They actually are doing such a great job by keeping the misfits and bottom feeders from poisoning the neighborhood . I commend their efforts to make a difference .

    Unlike the other occupants and buildings that allow this . Thank you who ever is on that loudspeaker at 376 Broadway . Thank you for being the hero’s of the neighborhood. Let the other snowflakes cry their liberal tears. When something happens to them . Then they will know that these homeless animals are the ones making the neighborhood a trash bin . And lowering the property value due to crime, graffiti and defection.

    Keep up the excellent work.

  6. The loudspeaker and camera would not be needed if we stopped supporting politicians who think it’s “cool” to let quality of life issues be ignored. Let everyone smoke reefer everywhere, yeah!, cool. Let shoplifters “boost” everywhere, yeah!, cool. Let “protected classes” get extra special treatment at all times, yeah!, cool. And on and on…

  7. It’s the racism for me. I’ve watched white girls smoke and drink in the gazebo without a care in the world. However when a black man was laughing too loudly, they berated him for an hour. I’ve seen the super scream at folks for smoking on that *side* of the street on the sidewalk no less. It’s become so wild that I’ve started using a decibel meter and the “announcements” cause 16+ decibel jumps inside my apartment. That is absolutely breaking the noise code, and as such I reached out to our elected officials, with no response except a suggestion to call 311 from our Borough President. It needs to stop, it’s excessive.

  8. Have you tried going to Community Board?

  9. There are at least two sides to this story, and it only accounts for one standpoint. I happen to live in the building, and it’s more complicated that this article makes it seem. The PA system was installed as a way to discourage after hours loitering by unsheltered folks, drug dealers, people who opt to have sex, skateboard off the platform, urinate, or defecate in the gazebo. The building staff have to clean up after those folks. There have been instances where speaking the people who were misusing the public space was met with violence.

    The measures taken to limit these incidences were improved lighting, so the illegal activity could be documented for police and shared with the local shelter, and the public address system which provided the ability to confront the illegal activity in a way that would avoid violence.

    The gazebo area IS a public space, and most of the time it is used appropriately; however, it access to the space does routinely get abused. The police are not responsive to requests to monitor illegal activity there, and the shelter takes zero responsibility for anyone who is not inside their facilities.

    If the writer, or any of the other commenters on this thread would like to work with the building management, the condo board, or the building community to address all sides of the issues, you are welcome to do so. I am certainly wiling to reference this article to ask if there is a way to lower the volume level. But just painting 376 Broadway as the bad guy in this layered situation is simplistic and not particularly constructive.

    • We have called the building to ask them to turn it down nicely and they have yelled at us through the loud speaker and told us to “get a life” and “we will never stop”. It’s hard to have a life when you’re being woken up by amplified shouting at all hours. Plus it’s against the NYC Noise Code Sec. 24-218 (3), which means it’s against the law. It doesn’t need to be loud enough to be heard clearly inside surrounding buildings. Additionally, announcements such as people sitting “incorrectly” or on the sidewalk are completely unnecessary. I agree that there are times that it is necessary, but those often don’t get addressed, in the past few weeks I’ve watched someone steal a bike, a man pleasure himself, and a woman defecate. So please pick your battles and please turn it down to a volume that is within the margins of the law.

      • You are such a liar . They alway aware of everything that is not right. And I believe you are demonizing this property.

        They are doing a great job keeping the area safe. They are making sure their property is safe . We already know who you are . We’ve seen you enter the building and yell at the nice security guard and blow an air horn on her face . You are not a honest person nor a nice one. As you see everyone is happy they are doing this in which the areas has gone to hell with the homeless causing a non safe environment.

        I say that the staff is doing an amazing job. Even the NYPD has said that it’s better to use the loud speaker than to confront these mentally Ill individuals.

      • Hi Citizen.
        I think the building security had mistaken you as one of the many gazebo loiterers. You can write to the condo management company to let them know your concerns:

        Bethel Management Inc.
        7 Chatham Square, Suite 608
        New York NY 10038
        Tel 212 349 5334
        Email. Contact

        You can also Google them.

        Good luck, #1