Two bus lines pass by with stops in front of our apartment. Nearly every ambulance, police car, and fire truck that needs to get from this neighborhood to the next or to one of three main highways passes by our place. Noisy, but we're mostly used to it. The kids' bedroom is on the other side of the apartment, so it doesn't often keep them up.
There are usually lots of trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, dog walkers, and pedestrians carrying all sorts of interesting things out on the street. Right now we can see the first snow of the season coming down in its quiet, carefree, yet deliberate way. For my kids, the spot right by the couch that overlooks the window is the most coveted and fascinating spot in their home.
I recently commented about our own family's take on TV at DaBoysof905. Here's an excerpt of what I said over there:
I also think that TV today is more of a blatant assault on the senses and morals than it was when I was growing up.
For the 5+ years we've been married, we've never had cable, so that cut out a large part of the available offerings, combined with the antenna reception we get that leaves much to be desired on certain channels.
When it's repeats time, I get much more into books, magazines, even more housecleaning and cooking/freezing ahead.
As far as TV for kids, with my 3 and a half year old, we let her watch TV, and it became obsessive, so about a year ago, I just stopped turning it on for her, almost 100%. If she or I are really sick, or on the occasion that my mom comes to watch the kids (e.g. I have a Dr.'s appt), there's maybe about a 30-60 minute show. Honestly, it's a drop in the bucket at this point, and my daughter is more than willing to go shut the TV off herself when it's over.
My fifteen month old has had such limited exposure to TV that it doesn't really interest him. I have found for my older daughter that eliminating TV has helped her to be more relaxed all around and also to play more creatively.
As for the news, RaggedyDad relies on the internet for 95% of it, and us parents watch about 3 hours a week, give or take a couple of hours if there's something very interesting going on.
I'm sure that as the kids get older, the window will grow less fascinating, and we may have to make some tough decisions in our house about whether we want it around or not. I think that as a medium, and in moderation, TV has its place. I'm just glad that, for the time being at least, we've got an alternative nearby.