Archive for February, 2010

Just got hipped to this vintage cruise ship exhibit in New York City by my pal Kiki and had to share:

DecoDence: Legendary Interiors and Illustrious Travelers Aboard the SS Normandie
The South Street Seaport Museum, New York February 2010 through January 2011

The S.S. Normandie was the epitome of Art Deco-era style and sophistication – the largest, fastest and most glamorous of the so-called “floating palaces” of the early and mid-20th century.Her innovative, award-winning hull design was rivaled only by her unprecedented interior luxuries.



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Hey gang, we’re still in Florida -which is 20 degrees colder than it usually is, we’re told, but positively tropical compared to the feet of snow that await us when we go home tomorrow.
We’ve been to many a Retro Roadmap worthy Florida vintage vacation spot, eaten too much roadfood and imbibed more than our fair share of tiki drinks in order to give you swell folks an idea of where to go when in the Sunshine State to get your retro Florida vacation fix.

Speaking of sunshine I think I just see it peeking through the louvered glass windows in our hotel room (or maybe it’s the gloomy clouds reflecting off of the yellow tiles in there) but it looks like it’s time for us to hit the road again for one last swing around before we head back to yet another snowstorm.

Here are a few random photos from this week, of retro and vintage Florida places to look forward to hearing about as soon as we get home!

IMG_1236Retro Roadhusband and The Big Spoon – let’s go inside and see what’s coming up on Retro Roadmap, shall we?


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Got some great Retro Roadmap worthy tips from Jeff at Nifty Nic Nacs Venice FL (and some cool loot too!)

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No we won’t be taking the “Land Can” but if nothing else crazy happens with the weather here in PA Retro Roadhusband and I are scheduled to fly to Tampa tomorrow morning for a week long stay in Florida! After this snowstorm (20″ of snow fell on the Hacienda and we’ve got to dig it out before we leave) I’m ready to exchange the shovel for a tropical drink, big time.

I’ve got a bunch of retro Florida and vintage vacation stops planned thanks to the help of these great folks:

Tiki Kaliki, hostess of The Hukilau – happening June 10-13 at the fabulous Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale FL

ChrisPFLorida on Twitter, also host with the most of Tiki Lounge Talk!

Rick from the wonderfully informative Florida history blog Visual Ephemera!

Crossing my fingers our flight goes without a hitch, and I can still fit into some of my warm weather clothes after all of the storm related carbo loading I’ve done in the past 24 hours.

I’ll try to post some photos from the road, but in the meantime- if you’ve got a Retro Roadmap worthy place in your state you want to feature, send the info to me and I’ll post it!

Mod Betty

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I don’t have a photo handy, but just heard the good news that the Liberty Elm – seriously one of the coolest diner scenes I’ve visited, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places!

Here’s an article from the Providence Journal (ProJo, I love it)- and I’m putting this puppy on the Retro Roadmap now- official review and photos can be filled in later!


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Sometimes you just can’t trust a route marker (like Route 1 this weekend through Providence, which got me quite turned around!) but in the case of Route 202 through Norristown PA a vintage sign photo op awaits if you choose the right one!

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When I sent up a flare asking for Retro Roadmap-worthy places to visit in Rhode Island  my pal Bill who lives in Arizona now but worked in the smallest state insisted that I eat at the Modern Diner in Pawtucket RI during my short jaunt home – and I was happy to oblige. Built in 1941, it is one of the few remaining Sterling Streamliner diners -easy to recognize by their “art deco train speeding down the track” look – and is the first diner ever to be placed on the National Historic Register.

Modern DinerThe Modern is quite a beauty,  with her cream and burgundy enameled panels and fab sign. I thank the folks at Quahog.org for clueing me into the fact that the reason the Modern is straight on one end is because in it’s original location in downtown it was snugged up against a building – I always thought it looked kinda weird!

I was up against a few obstacles during my visit to the diner in the fact that I did not realize ’til I was scrambling around in my purse that I had spent most of my cash with the Retro Roadkids the day before, and the diner is cash only. Also I was playing beat the clock as it was just about 1:30pm and they close at 2pm on a Sunday. Hence the fulfilling and affordable 2 eggs over with toast with a breakfast potato bonus, thought the diner is known for having more adventurous fare.

Modern BreakfastI asked for and was able to have a seat at the counter in the original part of the diner, and frankly did not even glance into the newly added on dining room portion. It seemed like most folks wanted to sit in the actual diner itself,  with a key seat being the booth in the curved portion “at the front of the train”.

Photos of the interior of the diner would’ve revealed that the place was packed and bustling this Sunday morning, with folks streaming in-perhaps from church? and servers here there and everywhere. It was a nice scene, to know that this place is still thriving, and Bill, I thank you for the reminder of this historic diner just off 95!

Modern Diner
364 East Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860
(401) 726-8390
Cash only, breakfast & lunch

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