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Archive for June, 2010

I’m very excited to have the opportunity to promote my Retro Roadmap Vintage Diners of Southern New Jersey photo exhibit on the radio! Tune into radio station WCHE at 8:15am EST tomorrow Thursday July 1, to hear me chat about my vintage New Jersey diner photo exhibit, Retro Roadmap worthy sites, and a whole lot more!

Doo Wop Experience Radio(Radio inside The Doo Wop Experience in Wildwood NJ didn’t I tell you it’s a cool place for my photos?!)

If you’ve ever wondered what Mod Betty sounds like over the airwaves, you can stream the show live from the WCHE website.

Will my Boston accent reveal itself?

Will I um and ah myself into a corner?

Who knows!

But please tune in, the support will make me less nervous!! And I’m wicked nervous about this, my first radio interview!

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For Immediate Release: Retro Roadmap Photographer Exhibits in Wildwood, NJ
angelos diner
Beth Lennon, owner of RetroRoadmap.com, will have her photos of vintage New Jersey diners on exhibit throughout the month of July at The Doo Wop Experience in Wildwood, NJ.

June 28, 2010 – Beth Lennon of Phoenixville, PA is proud to announce that a selection of her photos of southern New Jersey vintage diners will be on display in Wildwood, NJ throughout the month of July. The exhibit will be at The Doo Wop Experience in celebration of their ‘Manufactured Diner Month’.

Beth aka Mod Betty is the owner of RetroRoadmap.com – a travel blog dedicated to all things retro, vintage and mod. The website includes Ms. Lennon’s photos and experiences from her travels across the U.S. visiting ‘cool old places’. Her photographs are quickly gaining popularity across the world wide web and have can be found on Consumerist.com, Schmap.com, CaribbeanMotel.com. They’ve also been used by world famous cartoonist Dan Goodsell.

The Doo Wop Experience is located across from the Wildwoods Convention Center at Ocean Avenue between Burk and Montgomery Avenues in Wildwood, NJ. The exhibit is free to the public and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to noon and 5 to 10pm. For more information: http://www.doowopusa.org.

For more information about Retro Roadmap, go to: http://www.RetroRoadmap.com. You can contact Beth at: beth2459@aol.com.

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As we’d say at home, I’m WICKED EXCITED about the first Retro Roadmap photo exhibit, and totally psyched to have it at the fabulous Doo Wop Experience on Ocean Avenue in Wildwood NJ – housed in the refurbished space age looking  1960’s era Surfside restaurant building!
Doo Wop Experience Exterior
This photogenic destination in itself is located directly across from the entrance to the Wildwood boardwalk and my photos will be on display along with their classic vintage neon signs and classic 50’s decor.

Doo Wop Experience Interior Wildwood NJ

The photos highlight some of the quickly vanishing vintage diners in southern New Jersey. The historic diner has been listed on Preservation New Jersey’s 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites in New Jersey for 2010.

Retro Roadmap is thrilled to partner with the Doo Wop Preservation League to raise awareness of these classic structures, and hope that our photos will encourage visitors to check the diners out on their way to – or from -the Jersey Shore.

Wheee!

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Sent from the Retro Roadphone

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What right minded retro roadside attraction loving person would dare pass by this wonderful and colorful souvenir shop on Route 2 in Shelburne Falls, MA?

Big Indian Shop

This has been my favorite ticky tacky gift shop along the Mohawk Trail for easily 15 years. I sometimes dream of winning the lottery, buying the place and turning the adjacent field into a fiberglass petting zoo for all of the roadside giants that have been neglected for years. Looking over them of course, and providing a wonderful photo op in the meantime, would be the Big Indian himself.

The Big Indian

Rumored to be between 20-28 feet high, we learn (thanks to that goddess of the roadside, Debra Jane Seltzer) that he was created by Rodman Shutt who created many other giants- click here to read her details of how this one man shaped our giant roadside delights!

As you are learning I can never resist poking into a gift shop in the hopes of finding something truly wonderful and tacky to help me remember my visit. As you can see from this interior shot, I had plenty to choose from:

Souvenir Shop Interior

And at least ONE Retro Roadkid found something she liked ;-)

Lock'em Up!

When I asked the gal behind the counter how long the shop had been around, she didn’t really know, but said it had been there “for a long time”. She did share that it had been under new ownership for just a little under a year, and that the current owner bought it back in the 1970’s from the folks who originally opened it.

Why the Indian theme, you may ask? Well Route 2 is also known as The Mohawk Trail, which was a Native American trade route connecting tribes all the way up to Upstate New York (obviously before it was Upstate New York!) The Mohawk Trail is now part of Route 2 which was created as one of the country’s first scenic highways, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

Indian Maiden

We came out of here with more silly gifts that we could think of, but what better way to support these roadside treasures than loading up on cedar gifts and vintage post cards? My idea of fun for sure!

Chief Big Whoopee

There are plenty more photos of the kitschy fun found inside the Big Indian Shop on the Retro Roadmap Flickr Page – check ’em out!

The Big Indian Shop
2217 Mohawk Trail
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370
413-625-2333

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Hey kids, wanna go walk across a bridge, look at some holes in a rock and buy something at the drug store? You can do all that in Shelburne Falls, MA but trust me, it’s a lot cooler than it sounds!

I’ve had the Bridge of Flowers on my list of places to check out for years, and when we finally made it there one sunny day a few weeks back it did not disappoint. This charming hand made slate sign sums up the allure:

A 400 foot 5 arch span, was originally a trolley railway. When abandoned in 1929 it was converted into a pathway of flowers.

The Bridge of Flowers

I’m not sure the Retro Roadkids were as charmed as Roadsis and I were, but who cannot like smelling pretty flowers on a warm sunny day?

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Just “bee” careful or you might get a poke in the nose!

Bee Careful

They even have benches for sitting in the shade of the trees that have grown on the bridge through the years. Set a spell, look at the water with the sunlight dancing upon it, surrounded by flowers? Swoon!

Set a Spell

Once we crossed the river into town we didn’t quite know what to expect, but the outside of the Baker Pharmacy looked promising, with it’s cheery striped awning and vintage painted advertisements. We were later to learn that it is one of the oldest drug stores in Western MA.

Coke and Drugs

The inside was a totally unexpected find, with an original soda fountain in the front (remodeled in the 1950’s), vintage prescription counter in the back and “penny” candy for the kiddies.

The Soda Bar

While the Bridge of Flowers was the main reason we came into town, we saw signs for the Ancient Glacial Potholes over on the other side of the street, so we moseyed over to see what those were all about. Who knew Mass was famous for their potholes for so long- talk about Retro! ;-)

Geological Wonder

Potholes were ground out of granite during high water of the glacial age by whirlpool action of water and gyrating stones of varied sizes. Some of the grinding millstones may still be seen in the smaller potholes.

Over 50 such potholes exist in this confined area know in Indian Days as “Salmon Falls”.

These Potholes vary in size from 6 inches to 39 feet in diameter, the latter being the worlds largest pothole of record.


Glacial Potholes

We also read that up until a few years ago you were able to swim and sun at the Falls, which must’ve been great fun.

Shelburne FallsThere were little mom and pop shops to poke around in and a number of places to grab a bite to eat, or  a sweet treat. If you’re in the area and want to get off the beaten path, enjoy the small town charm, natural and man-made wonders of Shelburne Falls, MA!

Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts

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I’m a proud Retro Roadaunt when Retro Roadboy sees me and immediately shouts “we’re going to a diner for pancakes!” Not to disappoint the little tyke, we had pancakes of every variety at the Bluebonnet Diner in Northampton, MA. Best part about it? REAL Massachusetts Maple syrup served, without an extra charge!

I'm Ready For My Pancakes Mr. DeMille “I’m ready for my pancakes Mr. DeMille!”

Built in 1950, The Bluebonnet diner is conveniently located just off Interstate 91. Originally known as Worcester Lunch Car #825 Larry Cultrera’s Diner Hotline’s informative review of the Worcester Diners explains how the original diner was modified in 1960 with the addition of the dining room, where were seated (happily noticing that the diner itself was full of lunch time munchers). There is also a lounge and a function room behind that.

Bluebonnet Diner(Chicken is Broasted by order, and has a 15 minute wait. We were there for pancakes, but good to know for next time!)

The actual diner itself is wonderfully preserved inside, and I was thrilled to see their Worcester Diner clock, in tact and still running, adjacent to the menu boards. You don’t see these gems much anymore, and it’s always a good thing to see them in their natural habitat.

Worcester Diner Clock

Retro Roadboy also has a penchant for swiveling the counter stools, and was spinning each one in order to make sure they were working. I think he, I, and the gentleman at the end of the counter all realized around the same time that the swiveling of THAT particular stool might prove problematic!

I Anticipate a ProblemBut back to the food! In my mind nothing compares to the sweet taste of real maple syrup, and better yet Massachusetts maple syrup. I love the fact that no combination of chemicals and fake ingredients can capture the elusive taste derived so simply from nature, and that it’s something that is still made here in the US.

Real Maple Syrup from Massachusetts

The Bluebonnet also sells bottles of maple syrup, so I picked up some to go home to Pennsylvania with me, and as a gift to the Retro Roadkids, who are learning first hand about real diners and real maple syrup. And it makes me real proud that I’m the one teaching them!

Bluebonnet Diner
324 King Street
Northampton, MA 01060-2333
(413) 584-3333

Bluebonnet Diner on Urbanspoon

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In no way were Retro Roadhusband and I ready for yet another meal on our trip home from Lake George, but when you see a cool vintage neon sign lighting up the gloomy rain filled skies, you must investigate. And that’s exactly how we ended up at Eng’s Restaurant in Kingston, NY.

Neon Chop Suey Sign

(I couldn’t help but think of my favorite Edward Hopper painting when I saw this!)

And when you see, inside the front window of this fabulous porcelain enamel facade storefront, that they’ve been in business since 1927, well, you drum up your courage, find a spot in your belly for some Chinese food, and head inside.

Eng's Chinese Restaurant (more…)

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