Local Cafe Restaurant Customers Sick of TV Viewing Habits
I tend to eat out more than I should. As a busy father carting my son to sports, swimming lessons and martial arts classes it's sometimes just easier to grab a quick, healthy meal on the road.
At many Hudson Valley casual restaurants, however, I've noticed a disturbing trend that's made it difficult to bring my son out for a bite to eat. Lots of quick-stop restaurants now have giant flat screen television sets plastered to the wall. While I'm not the biggest fan of letting my son watch television while eating a meal, that's not really the issue. It's what's on the TV that's the problem.
Almost every restaurant that has a flat screen on the wall usually has it tuned to the news. Whether it's the evening news out of New York, or a cable news network, nine out of ten times the television is blaring tragedy and sadness. I can't count the times I've had to strategically choose our seating to avoid my son's view of the TV screen. Sometimes there's no escape, so I have to routinely distract my son from stories about dead babies found in dumpsters, mass shootings and the president tweeting something my son would be grounded for weeks for saying (These are all actual situations I've found myself in while dining out).
That's why I was so relieved to see this sign posted at the cafe at Adams' Fairacre Farms on Route 9 in Wappingers:
I've been to the cafe before when CNN was blaring angry pundits in the middle of a heated political debate and had to answer way too many difficult questions that my son should not be asking yet. So the change of channel is certainly a welcome one and something I applaud Adams' for addressing.
Many restaurant owners probably either don't have kids, or don't remember when their children were old enough to understand what the news is saying but way too young to be forced to think about such terrible things while eating chicken nuggets and ice cream. Perhaps more restaurants and cafes will realize that the news isn't something that's appropriate for all of their customers and will decide to change the channel too.
Until then, you can find my son and I sitting next to the bathroom with our backs to the television, engaged in a loud conversation about which Ninjago character is the coolest.