I've complained and ranted about this matter several times before, and I am going to complain and rant about it again. New York City is loud. Too loud.
I was back in the USA last April. As usual, I found myself in New York City, as well as Washington DC this time. In both cities, I would find myself in restaurants where I really cannot hear my husband's voice while dining. After all, the ambient noise is rather loud. So we end up talking louder than usual, and therefore by the end of the night, we have sore throats.
It's actually bizarre to find that the noise level on the street upon exiting the restaurant is lower than how it is inside. I can actually hear my companions better when we're walking the street than when we're in the restaurants.
I honestly wonder what's the average decibels in restaurants in the United States. And I am not surprised if for some reason this is also why Americans tend to be loud when they're travelling, making them easy to spot here in Europe, because they're just used to talking loud at home, in order to compensate.
I caught a cold while I was in the USA. And I found it really hard to get over it, because I would talk louder than usual just in order to be heard, so by the time we headed back to the hotel, my throat was so beaten and sore, that it wouldn't be able to relax and rest.