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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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My Entire Town’s Gone Crazy
Friday, May 26, 2006

I am in a town where the insane far outnumber the sane. How do I know this? Well for starters the police in our town put a housecat under house arrest earlier this year and now the cat is going to stand trial. If that wasn’t bad enough the ridiculous quotient for Fairfield has been upped once again as many locals are fighting the arrival of…… wait for it, wait for it, an Applebee’s. Yes many townies are fighting the “Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood” people and the arguments have bordered on the insane.

One of the biggest problems some older residents have is that they feel an Applebee’s will hurt the town’s integrity. Now, bear in mind it would be taking the place of a People’s Bank in a strip mall that also includes a Bob’s Stores. Oh and did I mention less than half a mile up the street is a McDonald’s, an Office Max and a Marshalls? I think Fairfield’s “town integrity” died when the golden arches went up. Still some folks insanely cling to the idea that Fairfield is a town with old charm. Those people need to take off their blinders and get with reality.

Fairfield, despite its “East Coast O.C.” pricey-ness, is in large part a college town, and a beautiful college town at that. With both Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University in Fairfield there are a lot of students living here the majority of the year. Do you know what an Applebee’s would mean to those students? An affordable place to eat and possibly even a job. Wow, yeah, what a terrible thing. Still, people argue against it.

Some of the other arguments people have been making against the eating establishment include saying the Applebee’s signage doesn’t fit in with the town (remember, we have those golden arches in the middle of a divided highway right up the road and a giant restaurant, Joe’s American Bar & Grill, right across the street with an equally huge sign), that it will promote drinking because it has a bar (apparently the dozens of bars, and Joe’s, which has bar in its name, don’t do that) and that it will cause traffic problems (ever been on the Post Road? It’s always a traffic problem). Seriously, people are really trying to argue these points in meetings.

Personally I would love it if Applebee’s came to Fairfield. It would give jobs to a lot of teenagers and provide me with an affordable place to eat that doesn’t serve food that hurts the diet. I think the major point a lot of residents seem to be missing, however, is that it’s not all about them. I’m not sure why but in Fairfield County once a person reaches a certain age they feel their entire town should revolve around their wants and needs. You should hear how the students who live down by the beach get treated, constantly being harassed and having the police called on them for really wants amounts to be being young adults wanting to have a little fun. Nobody’s hurting anyone, but because someone hears music, or sees drinking, or feels someone else having a good time, they do everything they can to stop it. Need I mention Clam Jam?

The best thing for Fairfield would be for its residents to open up to the student community. Everyone is pretty cool if you just stop for a minute to take the time to say hi and get to know them. I have two radio shows at Fairfield U and work with some of the students there. Guess what, it’s not that hard to say hi! Rather than thinking of the students as their neighbors most residents think of them as a nuisance, and with that attitude coming in they stand no chance of having any sort of positive relationship with them. Manners go a long way. Be nice to your neighbors and they’ll more than likely be nice to you. I’m sure many a townie could have easily convinced their college student neighbor to turn the music down had they been nice to them all along. I know, it’s a bit of a pipedream, but there’s a lot to be said for a simple hello. You know, like the kind you get from the hostess when you walk into an Applebee’s.

posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:46 AM  
  • At 10:58 AM, Anonymous ariel said…

    the applebees protesting is ridiculous, but the cat on trial is really the craziest thing I have ever heard about. they want to euthanize a cat for scratching people?

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