Monday, December 1, 2008

Route 130 Road Trip

Along America's forgotten backroads you can still find examples of the small business creativity that built this nation's economy. Route 130 in New Jersey moves a little slower than it once did, but the drive is easy and packed with friendly people.  And pride.   The USA Country Diner in Windsor reaches out to the sky, its blue finish and vertical chrome smartly matching the anchoring sandstone base. Closed as of 2006, the diner's shelves are still stacked with plates, cups and saucers, awaiting a new owner who can sling some serious hash.  
Air conditioning and color TV? I'm there.  
The owner at Travelette ran out and shouted, "You no stay? You no take-a pictures!" Dig the mad '60s running couple next to the cursive lettering (double click to enlarge)..  

Can you say "Bates Motel"? "Get Strangled at Stangel's!" 
Mario and Frank's is a homey Italian restaurant in business since 1975. A truly wonderful dining experience.   
LJ's 2nd "hand" Shop was stuffed with curiosities. 
End of the road in Burlington at Amy's Omelet House, a wonderful 1950s chrome diner updated in the '60s with Califorinia styled stone work. The blueberry pancakes rocked! 


Anonymous said...

Oh these are fabulous; I've seen these places a million times. From a car window, with two other rather hostile siblings, squeezed into the backseat of a '68 Rambler. Who wouldn't be hostile? On our way to some national park or another.

I like how Herman's doesn't put on the dog. No anteecues for this guy, it's all used things.

And Travelette. What the hell does that mean? It soulds like a trip with a moist kleenex-type wipe. Oh wait, maybe I do get it.

Rob said...

Thank you for this nostalgia. Reminds me of growing up when traveling the highways on family trips. Truck stop diners and local eaterys with big neon signs. That was when food was made to order. Glad to see they are still around in this era of the big box.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Great photos, Ken Mac! I enjoy so much seeing those Motel and Diners I used to see on American movies. Well done!

Wayne said...

You know what this reminded me of Ken. Charles Kuralt 'On The Road'. He did a weekly show driving that huge motorhome all over the country.

'No stay, no take picture' is an interesting business strategy but a bit difficult to implement.

-K- said...

These are all great, great shots. I would not have guessed that the USA Country Diner was in NJ.

Tanya Breese said...

You find the best places. I swear, it's like a time warp visiting your blog, love it!
I'm lol'ing over "get strangled and stangles" and what's up with them "you no stay, you no take pictures"...makes me want to send hate mail!

CoyoteFe said...

Outstanding! I love roadtrips, and this is one Pennsylvanian who loves Jersey! Gotta tip the hat to the prop of the Travelette for his/her commercial instincts.

Marguerite-marie said...

I love american roads..I went 2 years ago in California and last year in new England they are very different, we find the same roads at west more than at east.Thanks for the trip along the road.

Unknown said...

What a fantastic set of business signs and buildings! I just love the 1st and the last photos! So very cool! I really hope they will preserve those icons!

Anonymous said...


Maybe there's reason to go to New Jersey after all...?

Unknown said...

Dear Ken,
I've just started to follow blogs again, and here I am....on Your site with interesting photos...Why did you write that you prefer "MY" square than Times Square?
Best wishes

Hope said...

Ok, Ken Mac....I missed this post yesterday. But now am sooo glad I clicked on today!!! I wish I could have gone along with you and Leacy on this road trip. Looks like you had a Blast! You are so cool to stop and take photos of all these Great Places!

I have enjoyed looking at all of these photos especially the diners & I LOVE the Travelette motel sign with the running couple. Looks like they might be running 'away' from the motel!

"You no take-a picture" cracked me up! I'm glad you got one anyway. Sounds like there might have been some business going on at the Travelette that might be suspicious or something - ya think? Something that might not be appreciated recorded on digital.

I love all the captions and dialogue you've posted along with each photo.

I know this is not polite internet etiquette and all ...but I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

~Hope in Knoxville

D said...

What a great road trip and trip down memory lane! I love all the old signage.

Jill said...

Boy, does this bring back mental images from the past. These places don't seem to have changed much at all. When I was a kid we always went on road trips, stayed in inexpensive motels, breakfasted on donuts, and ate at diners.

Randy said...

What great photos. They really can make one miss the old days.

Blayze said...

Ah, I live barely 15 minutes away from all these places. Despite hating this part of New Jersey, (and the state in general) these roadside relics still give it a bit of charm.

I long for my old New York though. The Garden State is best viewed from a car or train window. Not to be lived in.

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Stuart Craig said...

Great post, what a great road trip down memory lane! I love all the old signs, thanks for sharing this with us.

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