Archive for the ‘New York City retro, vintage’ Category

As I sit here in Retro Roadmap headquarters hovering over my cup of tea for warmth, I’m remembering the hot beverages and cozy atmosphere of Caffe Reggio in New York City. We visited Greenwich Village’s oldest coffee house a few weeks ago thanks to the recommendation of our NYC go-to-guy for all that’s cool in the city, RetromanNYC , and I’m glad we did!

Caffe Reggio Neon Sign

Caffe Reggio is famous for introducing cappuccino to the United States, and proudly displays their original cappuccino machine in their dimly lit yet wonderfully inviting interior. Retro Roadhusband was more than happy to partake in one of their famous cappuccinos (gave it the thumbs up) and I ordered a hot tea for me. I was delighted when my tea arrived, not in a bag, but in a pot, with strainer and all, to catch the loose tea leaves.

Caffe Reggio Tea Service

When RetromanNYC suggested Caffe Reggio to us he let us know that it was his mother’s favorite hang between classes (or sometimes instead of classes!) when she attended NYU. I can see the allure of the place for folks from any era, with the eclectic artwork, surprisingly friendly service and a history of notable customers, beatniks and all. While the cafe is currently non-smoking, I can just imagine a college age gal drinking cappuccino, smoking Gitanes and feeling very continental.

Caffe Reggio Coffee Alcove Waiting at our marble bistro table for our beverages to arrive it was fun to absorb all of the details of the small space, and watch the steady stream of customers coming in from the cold. I was enchanted by the antique lighting and stained glass, tin roof and antiques, all giving off the vibe that they had been there forever. You can’t buy patina like this.

Caffe Reggio Tin Ceiling

If you don’t mind being seen, there are seats at the window, and for warmer weather there is cafe seating outside.

Caffe Reggio Cafe Society
Caffe Reggio also serves soups, sandwiches, pastries, desserts and more- had we not had plans for dinner that evening we would’ve grabbed a bite for sure. Just writing about it makes me want to go back there right now, and join in the cafe society!

Caffe Reggio
119 MacDougal Street
New York, NY 10012-1202
(212) 475-9557

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I thought one post might be the easiest way to get the info out about 3 drive in movie theaters in MD, NY and PA since the drive in season is so short. And who can resist a some vintage intermission film enticing us to head to the snack bar? Not me!

Bengies Drive In Movies Baltimore MD

Bengie's Drive In Baltimore MD

Open since 1956 Bengies has one of the more well kept marquees of the drive ins I’ve seen, and to see the amount of heavily worded signage lining the entrance to the theatre (and their website) you can see that the owners are all about the signs. I did not think that the drive in would be totally open for business when I visited it on a sunny Saturday but I had hoped someone might be in the snackbar and willing to sell me one of the tee shirts that I had seen on their website. Alas the signs indicated in no uncertain terms that I should not even think of trying this.

Signs Signs Everywhere Signs Bengies Drive In

However I was TOTALLY unprepared for the lights and alarm sirens that went off as I turned the Retro Roadmap mobile around in the driveway on my way out. It scared the whoozits out of me for sure, and even now thinking about it I get jumpy. Hopefully when we return for a movie I’ll have better news to report and my blood pressure will return to normal :-).

Bengies Drive In Movie Theatre
3417 Eastern Blvd
Middle River, Maryland 21220
(410) 391-1956

Haar’s Drive In Movie Theatre Dillsburg PA

We could only drive past this drive in theatre on the way to someplace else, but its close proximity to Wolfe’s Diner makes it a perfect place for a Retro Roadmap type date. Since the diner was not open the day we were in Dillsburg, Retro Roadhusband and I will head out there for sure for a better report.

Haar's Drive-In Theatre

Open since 1953 Haars is a 1 screen theatre with the added interesting bonus of Friday night auctions as well. They have an on site snack bar with “fresh cut french fries, hot dogs, chicken tenders & nuggets, hamburgers, popcorn, soft serve ice cream” and more. And since we all know that sneaking in food is a no-no, do your part to support this drive in and buy your treats at the snack bar.

Haar’s Drive In
185 Logan Road
Dillsburg, PA 17019-9501
(717) 432-3011

The Glen Drive In Glens Falls NY

We had absolutely no idea that there was a drive in movie theatre just minutes away from our vacation destination of Lake George NY, but knew we had to pull into the Glen Drive In which has been serving the drive in community since 1958 with a double screen option.
The Glen Drive In Theatre

Wish I was awake enough to see the double feature, but I will say that going to the drive in on our vacation was one of the great retro roadmap highlights!

And my fave reason for seeing movies at the drive in? The wonderfully outdated and kitschy intermission reels!

The Glen Drive In
Lake George Rd.
Glens Falls, NY 12804
(518) 792-0023

I hope to some day have every single Drive In in existence featured on the Retro Roadmap, until then Drive-Ins.com is a great resource to look up the drive in movie theatres near you. Now GO!

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I would be remiss in my sharing of vintage places to visit if I did not hep my Retro Roadmap readers to Fanelli Cafe in New York City. Thanks to RetromanNYC‘s handy tip we were able to dodge into this corner cafe and imbibe a casual drink while enjoying the ambiance that dates back to 1847, long before the neighborhood became known as SoHo.

Fanelli's Cafe NYC

We weren’t sure how the bar vs table situation worked when we first entered the corner door, but were immediately waved to “site anywhere you like” by the friendly waitresses located towards the back, where the dark wood, mirrors and big clock made us felt like we had stepped back in time.

Fanelli's Cafe NYC

While seated at our table for two we were able to admire the great old back bar and the penny hex tile floors while drinking our lagers. Funny true story- while I was in the very small ladies “water closet” – literally closet sized – I could’ve sworn that my cell phone rang, so I scrambled for my phone in my purse- only to find it silent. Puzzled I grilled Retro Roadhusband thinking he may have called and hung up, which he rightly denied. A few moments later I heard “my phone” again, only to realize that it was the PAY PHONE located just outside the bathroom, that had that original phone ring that my modern cell only imitates!

Fanelli's Cafe Floor NYCThe ambiance and vibe of Fanelli’s was low key- which was a relief from some of the hoity-toity places in the immediate vicinity. Our waitress had no problem with us taking up the tablespace for a while as we waited for pals to arrive and it was nice to sit back and watch folks come in and wander towards the back dining room. Quick word about the food- hmmm. how about, stick with the drinks! Not horrible, but I’d want to try out someplace else to eat next time.

We didn’t realize how much time had passed when we were in Fanelli’s, but I loved how their etched glass door sparkled with the outdoor light as we left that evening.

Fanelli's Cafe NYC

My lil point and shoot shot came out too blurry for me to post, but click here to see a really beautiful shot of the outside of Fanelli’s from New York Daily Photo – they’ve got a bit of the history too! So nice to have a vintage ball in the corner pocket especially in this neck of the city.

Fanelli Cafe
94 Prince Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 226-9412

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Wow, the good news about NYC Retro Roadmap fun comes just in time to salve the stinging blow that The Empire Diner is closing in the middle of May!

Thanks to Glenn Wells of the Roadside Fans group for spreading the (sad) news. I’m leaving today….

Empire Diner to close soon
Published: Thursday, April 8, 2010 6:08 PM CDT
“Speaking to Chelsea Now on April 6th, proprietor Renate Gonzalez confirmed “May 15th is our last day of operations. We have lost our lease.” The news, given to her by the landlord’s attorney, came as an unpleasant surprise. Gonzalez: “We had a meeting. We thought we renegotiated and agreed to another ten-year lease; we shook hands. The day before Christmas, we got a message from his attorney that he had signed a lease with somebody else; another restaurant.”

Read the entire article on the closing of the Empire Diner here.

I remember making a point of coming here when my sisters and mum and I all went to NYC way back in the lateighties, early 90’s, and being thrilled by being in such a cosmopolitan version of a diner. I remember getting the chicken fried steak, and trying to collect all the post cards. And now I realize that even that era is close to being vintage and retro!

I guess the times they are a changin’ but it sure will be sad to see this place go- so go there while you still can!

The Empire Diner
Empire Diner
210 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011-4784
(212) 243-2736

Get yourself to the Empire Diner before it closes- I’ve made it easy by putting it on the Retro Roadmap!

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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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On the way from Mass to Penna over the holidays Retro Roadhusband and I were heading to an off Broadway show until traffic literally put a halt to those plans. We were already practically IN New York City, and couldn’t turn around if we tried, so we decided to make the best of it. After insane traffic, aggravating parking and the stress and disappointment of missing the show, this is where we ended up:

Waldorf - Astoria Hotel NYC

The Waldorf – Astoria Hotel, on Park Avenue in New York City. No, we couldn’t stay there, but check the place out and perhaps belly up to an elegant bar? Yep, few things turns my frown upside down better than a classic cocktail at a classic haunt.

This location of The Waldorf was built in 1931, when the original hotel had to make way for something called The Empire State Building. It is a grand place, with an art deco exterior and  old fashioned opulence


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Just a quick holiday reminder that because you’re such a loyal reader of Retro Roadmap, you get a great discount on tickets to an off Broadway musical! I think these would make a perfect gift- who could resist a night in the big city and a show! Memories are made from events like this, not out of some thing you buy in a big box store, ya know! Just a word to the wise the show closes on January 3, so take advantage of this opportunity today!

Discount for Retro Roadmap Readers -The Marvelous Wonderettes!

I have a great offer to share with my loyal Retro Roadmap Readers – discount tickets to the musical show  The Marvelous Wonderettes !


I can’t wait to head up to New York City to see this with Retro Roadhusband, as it looks like a lot of fun:


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