Archive for the ‘Mid Century Modern’ Category

Summer’s officially here and I am so very excited for all of the fun we have planned – like our stay at the lovingly restored 1950s Caribbean Motel in Wildwood, NJ. There’s us, in line for a hot dog, in this vintage photo from the Caribbean, courtesy of our pals at RetroStockPix.com.

Caribbean Motel Wildwood NJ Vintage Photo Cookout RetroStockPix.com(don’t you just love my turban and sunglasses? Trying to keep a low profile, lest I get mobbed by fans!)


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Now I’m not in the market for jewelry – but if I was in Austin TX I’d head to Kruger’s Jewelers to buy my baubles, just to say thank you to them for keeping their vintage signage and facade so glorious!

Kruger's Jewelers Clock and Facade

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They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and if the size of the sign for the Dot Coffee Shop – and the quantity of food at our breakfast is any indication, they’re right! Located just off Interstate 45 in Houston, TX it’s been a landmark since 1967.

Dot Coffee Shop Mega Sign


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The book Wildwood’s Neon Nights & Motel Memories by Robert O. and Melinda M. Willams was recently published by my fave local publisher Schiffer Books, and is right up my Retro Roadmap alley. The fact that the Doo Wop Preservation League in Wildwood NJ will be hosting a book signing this Saturday 9/25 with the book’s photographer Robert O. Williams is reason enough to tell you all about this tome right now, so you have time to make it to the signing!


This book contains over 220 color photographs of the neon signs, vintage motels and vacation memories associated with the history of Wildwood, NJ. For those not in the know, Wildwood is home to the country’s most densely packed collection of 1950’s motels, hotels and businesses. Inspired by post-war optimism about the future, the architectural designs for these mom and pop motels broke the mold with their inventive use of angles, color, materials and subject matter. The signs that beckoned summer travelers to stay the night also exemplified that same sort of exuberance, with swooping arrows, pointing sputniks and enough colored neon to light up the night for miles around.

More than just a fond reminiscence or collection of striking photos (there are plenty of both in there), the book is also a cautionary tale about how easily these places can fall prey to the wrecking ball in the name of revitilization and profit. A number of the photos show the heartbreaking reality of demolition sales and the colorful and kitschy places that no longer exist.

This book is far from a bummer though, with plenty of bright and detailed photos from Robert and entertaining and informative writing by Melinda. Their original content is featured along with some great vintage shots of the area, including some from RetroStockPix.com (you may remember them being featured here as our Swoonworthy Vintage Motel & Vacation Photos).

If anything, the fact that we realize these places may not be here forever, coupled with the impact of the great photos in this book are motivation enough to book your next Wildwood stay at a vintage motel, today!

Casa Bahama Motel, Wildwood NJ. Pool Area - Retrostockpix.com RetroRoadmap.comFans of diner photographs (myself included) have known of Robert’s work with his acclaimed book Hometown Diners, (get your personalized copy right here at this link). Or perhaps you might recognize his images from his years spent behind the lens as an award winning photographer at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Melinda, his wife is also an alumni of  The Philadelphia Inquirer and now runs The Williams Group “an agency specializing in marketing, public relations, journalism and photography with an emphasis on nostalgia.” Both of them spent over 10 years in collecting and creating the images and content sandwiched between the covers of Wildwood’s Neon Nights and Motel Memories, and we are all the better for it.

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This photo of All American Burger in Massapequa NY, posted on the Vintage Roadside Facebook page is what totally put Long Island on the Retro Roadmap for me and got me thinking about visiting. Thanks to photographer Don Brunjes for not only capturing a great shot of that fabulous vintage neon signage, but also granting me permission to share that photo with you all!


My photos didn’t nearly come out as good as that since we were visiting during the blistering hot afternoon, but in the name of research I got myself one tasty cheeseburger, some fries and a diet Coke (this is after, mind you, breakfast in a diner, a dish of ice cream and a chocolate egg cream all within 4 hours or so!).

Burgers Franks

All American Burger has been serving up burgers franks and fries since 1952, and the prices have remained affordably affordable!

All American Burger Menu

The place was packed when we got there and if I were more of a “take pictures of people I don’t know” kinda gal, I totally would’ve snapped a photo of our order taker, who looks like she’s worked here for a while, and was totally adorable with her hair just so and big sunglasses.

All American CheeseBurger

What I do like to take pictures of are designs that continue to be used by businesses and look authentically original. I snapped the above photo as we sat outside at one of the few round tables out front, dodging sparrows who were divebombing our fries (which alas weren’t crinkle cut). One thing I didn’t realize until it was time to throw away our trash, was that cool shield design was also on the bag as well. Dang, guess we’ll have to go back there again!

After the sweets we had eaten already this day our cheeseburgers totally hit the spot, and from the raves this place gets online and in person, I know we’re not the only ones to have enjoyed our meal here.

Go the All American way!

All American Burger
4286 Merrick Rd.
Massapequa, NY 11758
(516) 798-9574

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When in Columbia PA do yourself a favor and check out Hinkle’s Pharmacy and lunch counter on Locust Street – still family owned and operated since 1893. For a more modern looking surprise, drive just past their big blue awning on the corner of Locust S. 3rd  and check out their mid century modern mosaic on the side of the building!

Hinkle's Pharmacy Columbia PA
OK so you may not need to fill a prescription, but I’m sure there’s something you can find to buy at Hinkle’s!

Need a greeting card? Head to the Thoughtfulness Shop:

Thoughtfulness Shop

How about a box of chocolates? Everybody loves a box of chocolates!

Russell Stover Candies

Or something for the man in your life?

Clubman, Dry Look, Bay Rum( Retro Roadhusband was relieved when I came home with just a can of  shaving cream for him!)

Or, if you are feeling hungry, sit down at the counter and have a snack or a meal. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week and specials daily!

Hinkle's Lunch CounterThey also have all your standard health and beauty items, pain relievers, gifts for every occasion, local brand snacks, toys for the kiddies and a bunch more. No excuse not to check out Hinkle’s!

Hinkle’s Pharmacy & Lunch Counter
261 Locust Street
Columbia, PA 17512
(717) 684-2551

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I’m going to rely on Retro Roadmap pals Visual Ephemera Rick and Tiki Lounge Talk Chris who live  closer to Miami to give me the local skinny on the promising remodel of this mid-century modern motel, but for now I’ll just say thanks to Karen-Janine Cohen of the Biscayne Times for highlighting the newly remodeled New Yorker Motel at 6500 Biscayne Blvd.

This Miami Modern or “MiMo” motel is celebrating it’s grand re-opening this Saturday, as part of the MiMo Madness festival this Saturday!

https://i1.wp.com/www.biscaynetimes.com/images/stories/art_0310/Motel_2.jpgFrom The Biscayne Times:

The Motel New Yorker’s March 20 grand opening will get a boost as part of the “MiMo Madness” festival that same day. The annual event brings food, music, and entertainment to the Boulevard. (Owners)  Shirley Diaz and Walter Figueroa are even considering synchronized swimmers in their motel pool, a bit of fun to mark the end of a long and arduous process.

Diaz puts it this way: “We want to say: Look what a difference we’ve made in the neighborhood!”


Working from old pictures and documents, Diaz and Figueroa are painstakingly recreating the heyday of the New Yorker, built in 1953 and designed by vaunted MiMo architect Norman Giller. The original pink-and-green or gray-and-yellow bathroom tiles look like new. A variety of chairs, mirrors, and other reproduction period furniture is sprinkled throughout the rooms, which also boast flat-screen TVs and other contemporary amenities.

Hoping the best for The New Yorker, as well as owners Diaz and Figuero! Thanks for trying to make a difference in your neighborhood, something we all should aspire to, dontcha think?

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