Archive for the ‘New York Long Island retro, vintage’ Category

Finally coming to grips with the end of my great retro weekend on Long Island and discovering their wonderful collection of luncheonettes, I could not resist trying to fit one more vintage LI location into my visit – the Star Confectionery in Riverhead, NY just at the fork of Long Island.

Star Confectionery Sign

Originally built in 1911 as a candy store and owned by the same family since the 1920s, we had a late breakfast here just before they closed up for the day. Take note of things like this if you want to get a good photo of vintage neon while it’s still burning! I did not realize they’d shut the signs off, but being my fave word I had to snap a photo of the window anyhow.

Luncheonette Unlit

We slipped into a wooden booth and served by prompt and friendly folks. Having had my fill of standard breakfast fare, I opted for an unusual combo that somehow seemed just right. Iced tea and a split n grilled corn muffin. Grilled muffins are the best!

Iced Tea - Long Island!(it took me 2 months to realize this was a real Long Island Iced Tea! ;-))

You can see from the photo below the wonderfully kept original stained glass windows, authentic counter stools and classic marble countertop. Not to mention the great tiled floor. And unfortunately you can also see the reflection of the “Closed” sign, which reminded us it was time to head back to the mainland.

Star Confectionery Counter

Bidding adieu to the Star we could not leave town without a quick walk around what once was a bustling commercial district. It was extra quiet because of Sunday but a bit sad to see all the wonderful yet vacant storefronts. Not to say there aren’t things going on, and in fact my sidekick Suzanne told me that the Vail Levitt Music hall around the corner is a historic theatre where Thomas Edison experimented with sound movies almost 100 years ago. I was not able to snap a photo of this notable place, but you can read the detailed history of the theatre on the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall website.

One great sign I was able to snap a photo of was of the Suffolk Theatre, built in 1933.

Suffolk Theatre
Thanks to the information on that great resource Cinema Treasures, I’m happy to report that “The long delayed restoration of the theatre began in August 2010” good news!

I know that there were other cool vintage places that we missed, diners we didn’t find, but we did pack a lot of fun into a long weekend!

So there we go, the true very end of a wonderful retro roadmap vintage Long Island weekend that I’ve somehow managed to stretch out and make last for the entire summer, like a wonderful piece of salt water taffy. Our last retro roadside find seemed the most appropriate, the Riverhead Raceway Indian, who looks like he’s saying, “Thank you for visiting our fair lands, please come again”!

Riverhead Raceway Indian

Star Confectionery
4 E Main St
Riverhead, NY 11901-2423
(631) 727-9873

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I think I’ve been dragging my feet about this post because when I finish it then I have to come to grips with the fact that my summer fun is over. NOT that there isn’t shoulder season and autumn Retro Roadmap fun to be had, but summer went by too fast b/c of my broken foot!

As I mentioned, the North Fork town of Greenport NY is a wealth of old-time fun, stores and places that are worth giving more than this passing glance will give them. But hopefully this teaser of what you will find will inspire you to visit this great little community, regardless of the season. Now, where were we? Ah yes-

While walking towards a find that our hostess knew I’d dig I just had to snap a photo of this place – not only for the window obscured by the awning, but the name itself:

The Doofpot

En route to the theatre in the area I snapped a quick photo of this vintage liquor store neon sign. Dig that art deco design!

Wines, Liquors, Neon

We had walked past the Greenport Theartre on our way into town, and as we made our way back to the car I was pleased to be able to nose around inside, glad to see that it was a bit more gussied up than the austere exterior.

Greenport Theatre

Now this is a lousy photo, but I had to share it if only to admit that even someone who thinks they know their stuff can be wrong. You see, I was totally convinced that this decorative ticket booth was an original authentic piece.

Greenport Theatre Ticket Booth

But then, while I was checking out the “vintage” ladies room, my hostesses were chatting with the gal behind the snack counter, who had to admit that even though the theatre was built in 1939, it has been all redone in the past 5 years. You can read an interesting thread on CinemaTreasures.org where the progress of the renovations to the Greenport Theatre can be relived through the comments.

Regardless, it sure does harken back to the olden days of movie going, and the throngs of children swarming around me as I exited the “Ladies” and they exited one of the 4 screens showing Toy Story 3 was a testament to the Saturday matinee.

Greenport Theatre Ladies Room

You can also see a shot on the Greenport Theatre’s website of the original neon sign from the Beekman Theatre, now safely on display in one of their screening rooms. Love the script font!

And that my friends concludes our visit to beautiful downtown Greenport. NOT that we didn’t find a few gems on the way home that I want to share with you before we bid adieu to summer, but Greenport was a definite treat.

Much like the picture of All American Burger that got me out onto Long Island for a Retro Roadmap reconnaissance, a tip from Erin Mosley of LUPEC Boston made me put the Silver Sands vintage motel on the map, and I’m sure glad I did!

Silver Sands Motel Sign

We drove down the long driveway and the family sat in the car as I gathered the courage to go in and ask about rates. The woman behind the desk was everso friendly, and gave me some post cards and said I could take a look around the aqua and pink 1950’s era motel. This place is the REAL DEAL people. A cool old vintage motel with that old timey vibe. You can stay in the motel building proper, with its small but private beach, or do it up cabin court style, near the pool.

Silver Sands Motel Cottage

While we have a generous standing offer to stay with the wonderful Long Island RetroRoadfamily I spent the weekend with, I’m sorely tempted to book a weekend here with Retro Roadhusband. There were plenty of people staying here when I visited but the place was refreshingly low key. I was charmed as I saw a guest bring the (owner?) woman behind the counter a box of cookies from the local bakery, and she would not let me leave until she shared some with me, giving me a couple for the girls in the car. If staying here was as cool as visiting here, we may have a keeper (fingers crossed!)

Also of note, to wrap up this end of the island, is Drossos Motel, which combines not only a pretty cool vintage Motel sign Drossos Motel Sign

but miniature golf as well!

Drossos Motel Miniature Golf

If that isn’t enough, there’s also an on site snack bar!

Drossos Motel Snack Bar
That 3D plastic sign with a soft serve cone on it reminds me SO much of my childhood. Anyone want to join me in a bucket of chicken?

Now I will say, I have not stayed at either of these motels, so I make no promises about the accommodations. However, for vintage charm on a wonderful retro weekend, they get the thumbs up!

So there you have it – Greenport Long Island NY LI – a definite destination for a retro daycation!

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Greenport NY is so chock-a-block full of cool vintage and retro finds that I’ve been wrestling for over 2 months now with how to tell you all about it. You know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words? Well here are my photos that will illustrate what an absolute FIND Greenport is, for the vintage lover or retro day-tripper:

The Antique Carousel:

The Carousel Kid

We took the car over on the ferry and the first sign of a cool place in my book was our visit to the vintage carousel right on the waterfront. I wasn’t the only one who was happy to see these 1920’s era wooden steeds (0rginally built for a traveling carnival) whirling around, and one of the Retro Roadgirls was more than happy to try and grab the brass ring.

Grab The Brass Ring

Walking along quaint Front Street I was directed to go check out the interior of the Arcade department store, as my hostess knew I’d love the wide wood plank flooring and incredible variety of useful items.

Arcade Department Store

I spoke with a lovely little lady at the far register who said that the store had been there for at least 70 years, but also noted that there are for sale signs in the windows. With a little bit of something for everyone – shoes, work gear, back to school items, notions, stationery, home goods, hardware, it would be hard to imaging what could fill the void if this place were to close. I bought some flower seeds and hope to plant them at the Hacienda!

Flower Seed Packets at the Arcade Department Store

I was SO wishing we hadn’t had such a tasty diner breakfast when I spied the vintage restaurant sign and charming interior of the Coronet.

Coronet Luncheonette Vintage Signs

One thing I love about Long Island are the luncheonettes, and will make a plan to come back with an empty belly and do a proper review of the Coronet, but for now I’m simply smitten with the vintage decor and positive online reviews.

Coronet Luncheonette Interior

Crossing the street towards the water we spied some authentic old businesses with trendy shops clustered around:

White's Hardware White’s Hardware is where I picked up a drain stopper for the old porcelain kitchen sink back home- do I know how to pick our souvenirs or what?

For the seafaring visitor, S.T. Preston & Sons is nothing but nautical. I’m a landlubber myself, but I did love the fact that the old cash register was still in use:

ST Preston & Son(I wonder, is that ST Preston or the son behind the counter?)

Little did I know that we were just across the street from the Oldest Same Family Owned Restaurant in the United States, Since 1870 – Claudio’s.

Claudio's Restaurant Vintage Sign

We were in luck that the Retro Roadgirls wanted to watch the World Cup and I wanted to do some investigation into this historic establishment, so we stopped here for a spell. I loved the old stained glass windows and friendly service.

Stained Glass Window

And I’m told the bar was installed in 1886 when it was salvaged it from an old hotel being torn down in New York’s Bowery. The day we visited it was swarming with soccer fans both local and international, and it was a heartwarming sight to see everyone getting together to cheer on the US Team.

The World Cup(seeing this less than good photo makes me want to go back, with Retro Roadhusband this time, so he can have some of the fun I did that weekend!)

You know, there are still a lot of neat lil places in Greenport I have to tell you about, so I’m going to break this post in two! Stay tuned, and in the meantime, here’s the map, so you can start to plan your very own visit to Greenport!

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What’s a roadtrip if you can’t pose in front of an oversized something? A trip to the outer reaches of Long Island would not be complete for a roadside giant loving fan without a visit to the famous Big Duck in Flanders NY. Why it’s practically historical in its architectural significance. And kinda cute too!

The Big Duck!(speaking of cute, the Retro Roadgirls were just wonderful when I asked them to pose for scale. thanks dolls!)

Built in 1931 in Riverhead NY by a duck farmer in to sell ducks and duck eggs, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. This cement quacker which originally had model T headlights for eyes has been historically renovated and was moved around a couple of times since settling in its current location since 2007. But all that is only a small bit about the important history of this place.

Buildings that are shaped to look like something else can be called follies, mimetic, novelty or programmatic architecture. You know, giant teapots, tee-pees and the like. But an architectural term for these buildings is also a “duck” or “duck architecture”. This term was coined by famous architect Robert Venturi, and this big duck in Long Island is the reason he uses that term!

I wasn’t sure that the duck was open when we pulled up, as it was a bit dark inside, but we entered to find a friendly volunteer behind the counter selling “duckamabilia” and other souvenirs. I could not help but pick up a book on roadside delights, and posed for a rare photo in front of the duck myself!

Betty and The Duck!

So if you’re on Long Island, don’t be a goose, stop by and say hello to this cheery roadside bird, who has made architectural history!

The Duck of Flanders
928 Riverhead-Hampton Bays Rd
Flanders, NY 11901

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A well preserved 1941 Kullman, the Cutchogue Diner on Route 25 on the North Fork of Long Island was a great place to begin a day of fun with RetroRoadSuzanne and her RetroRoadfam.

Cutchogue Diner Neon Sign

A small diner with a handful of tables and counter service of course, our gaggle of gals fit nicely at a corner table – always a fave for me. From this vantage point I was able to sit back and admire the vintage 1940’s feel of this diner, replete with tilework, vintage lighting fixtures and marble counter top.

Cutchogue Diner Interior

As we waiting for our pancakes and eggs “over medium” (a new one for me) I was able to admire up close the great diner china teacup with the name emblazoned upon. Kudos to Kim at Perry Designs for adding the spoon to this shot, love that diagonal line!

Cutchogue Cup

I have to say, nothing makes me happier than to introduce folks to the fun of Retro Roadmapping and the importance of supporting the vintage and cool old places that are still around. Here’s most of our happy bunch and the Long Island branch of the Retro Roadgirls!

The Cutchogue Cuties!
With a day of driving and adventure ahead of us we ate our fill and left this great gem of a place happy, knowing that it was appreciated by both locals and vacationing folks alike. If you’re ever on the North Fork, put a fork in it at the Cutchogue Diner!

Cutchogue Diner Exterior

The Cutchogue Diner
27850 New York 25
Cutchogue, NY 11935
(631) 734-7016

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In business since 1927, Hildebrandt’s luncheonette, soda fountain and ice cream parlor is the real Retro Roadmap deal. As soon as you drive down Hillside avenue in Williston Park, NY you can’t help but notice the light green vitrolite exterior of this corner shop, and the wonderful neon sign with the classic Hildebrandt’s logo.


Oh how I wish the tree wasn’t there so I could’ve taken a better photo of my favorite word, Luncheonette!

Ice Cream Cakes Our Specialty

As we walked through the door we really got that “stepped back in time” feeling, with the tile floor, counter with swivel stools and small dining area in the back with cute deco tables. Since we had only just had breakfast, it seemed as if an ice cream or sweet treat was in order, so we sat at the marble counter right next to the great vintage coke dispenser.

Hildebrandt's Marble Counter

You can see more photos of Hildebrandt’s interior here at their website.

As we sat waiting for our treats I was happy to see the place filling up with parents and kids, grandparents and kids, just some kids, just some adults, and it felt like the place was coming to life. They are known for their Italian specialties as well as their classic lunch counter fare.

Just down the end of the counter we could see the grill where they make their famous “fries” which are really round potato slices fried golden brown. I  read in Hamburger America by George Motz (where I actually found out about this place -thanks George! )he has included their burger is one of the top 100 burgers in the nation. If only my belly wasn’t so full from breakfast!

Not that that stopped me from ordering and eating most of a dish of home made ice cream:

Hildebrandt's Ice Cream

As you can see they still use old fashioned metal ice cream dishes so the ice cream doesn’t melt so fast. They also use classic soda fountain glasses for their raspberry lime rickeys. Suzanne was kind enough to indulge my “let me take a photo of it first” Retro RoadRule to show you her refreshing drink.

Hildebrandt's Lime Rickey

When it isn’t so incredibly hot out, they also make home made chocolates, and I hear it’s THE place to come get your Easter candy.

There was a message on Hildebrandt’s menu that to me sums up the raison d’etre of Retro Roadmap, in a nutshell:

Since 1927...Because One Person Tells Another

Since 1927…Because One Person Tells Another.

It’s as easy as that, folks! Hopefully I’m telling you all about this wonderful vintage corner shop so you’ll make a stop there and we can keep the place going ’til their 100th anniversary and beyond!

84 Hillside Avenue
Williston Park, NY 11596-2321
(516) 741-0608

Join the Hildebrandt’s Group on Facebook!

Hildebrandt's on Urbanspoon

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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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