Letter (Aug. 19): Out for dinner, not a concert
August 20, 2013
I have no sympathy for the penthouse owner who needs to be queen of the elevator, leaving lesser occupants of the building, workers who serve people like she is, to enter the building off the alley and presumably trudge back stairs to their digs. Clearly the lady has blown several million on the wrong condo, but her complaint about noise from restaurants does bring up a matter that affects the larger public.
Mankind is the only species to indulge in social eating. Other creatures go straight for the meat, but our kind likes to gossip, joke and on rare occasions even discuss serious matters while shelling out for good food and drink. It would seem in the restaurants' economic interest to indulge this drive by providing a compatible setting for social eating, but instead many of them throw up barriers in the form of conversation-drowning music so that clientele must scream at one another to communicate, thus competing with one another as well as the music, or lapse into silence as they sip and chew during a concert they didn't pick.
Even the young are treated as if they were old and deaf, unable to hear background music unless it is in the foreground. Case in point: A couple of days ago, a friend and I were going to dine at a restaurant in the basement of the same building that enshrines, on top, the condo of the complainer. A sign on the door said that there would be live music that night. Knowing that indoor live music in Aspen is chronically over-amped and would kill any chance to communicate, we moved on, and the restaurant lost our business.
Inadvertantly, the lady who doesn't want such volumes in her condo has pointed out a more general problem. Owners and managers of restaurants need to monitor their speakers, for their gregarious clients didn't come just to sit mute and then pay the bill.
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