I would like to clear up the "...and dirty place" - it is a typical NYC/Manhattan city neighborhood with a bit of grit - think Shoreditch in London or le Marais in Paris. It is not dirty in the sense of trash everywhere or the like.
Jonathan is correct. About one month ago (early Aug 2014), construction on a new residential building started on my street, and this will last for a few months at least, I reckon. That said, the construction is intermittent M-F, and has disturbed my sleep once, thus far. This is also a function of the time at which you get up. And as Jonathan said, "this is New York", and I do live right in Manhattan. Hope this helps my future readers.