The past three places I've lived have all been near a busy street. Not too busy, with cars honking and voices shouting. Not too loud like a highway. Instead, just the right amount of busy, at the right times. What do I mean by this?
In the morning, when I wake up, I hear the cars and people start to move about, gradually. Six hours past midnight, a handful of cars are going up and down the street, rubber tires on the asphalt. These are people who start their day early, going to a job or to a gym. A couple hours later, the buses start running, and most people are out and about, going to this and that place. The sounds are more varied, more cars, but also buses stopping, people talking, and the occasional police siren.
This continues throughout the day. I can keep my window open if the weather is nice outside. It's never too much commotion. Without it, though, I'd be missing something.
This slight background sets the day into motion. It's a motivation for me to get going with my day. I hear all these people going about, and want to join in, to move things forward just a little.
It can't be overwhelming, though. If it's constant loud noise, near a highway, that would be too much. You don't need that much to be aware that things are moving around you. You need just enough, and the places I've lived have all provided that.
When the day draws to a close, the sounds gradually die down. Later in the night, perhaps just a car here and there, a group of people or two on the weekends walking by after a night out. Then it's also time for me to take a break, to sleep.