It's always loud in my apartment, and I'm up on the 21st floor. It's good to know, though, that noise has always been a problem in New York City.
There's a professor at Princeton who has been going through noise complaints in New York City from the late 1920s to the early 1930s and has created a sound map of what the city sounded like back then. It's incredible to hear people quibble over the price of a used suit or hear kids playing in the street.
The Roaring Twneties
The Sounds Of New York City, Circa 1920