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

“Progress has its place, but these businesses have built their success on sustaining tradition” – YES indeedy! So says Amy Halloran in Albany NY’s Metroland, and sums up our feelings regarding progress and change in her You’re So Old School article better than we could this Sunday morn.

I especially like this part (bolding all mine):

“Businesses have to be flexible, ready to respond to the changes of a fickle public. So goes the logic that drives many enterprises. There’s another way of running a business, however, that dares to believe there’s no school like the old school. That suggests that people, and their needs, remain constant, and that people want their needs met with stability. Every city in the area has shops and restaurants that exemplify this philosophy, and food businesses tend to succeed in ignoring the siren call of progress better than others.

Metroland-Amy-Halloran-You're-So-Old-School-Will Yager-Patsy's Barbershop-Photo-Joe-PutrockClick here to read the entire article and learn more about some great RetroRoadmap worthy places in upstate New York! Take a moment to look around your own neighborhood, do you have some of these places you could support? Lets do!

Thanks to Glenn Wells of RoadsideFans for the link and inspiration (and look for some information on some fun RetroRoadmap worthy events coming to that region this June!)

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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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Hello Retro Roadmap readers! While I work my way through tons of photos and all sorts of wonderful vintage and retro places we’ve been over the past couple of weeks, I thought I’d share some random snapshots from the roadside, from our trip home from Lake George.

Sara Glen Motel SignSara Glen Motel, Saratoga Springs, NY

Landmark MotelLandmark Motel, South Glens Falls, NY

Lawn JockeysLawn Jockeys at the Landmark

Lustron Home For SaleLustron Home For Sale, Ballston Spa, NY

OlenderOlender Store, Schenectady, NY

Just think, we wouldn’t have seen any of these things if we stayed on the highway! If you can, plan extra time on your next trip so you can do some retro road trip ‘sploring and photographing of your own!

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We were bummed to see  the Prospect Mountain Diner in Lake George was shiny and new*, but that gave us a perfect excuse to go to Peter’s Diner in Glens Falls NY (around the corner from ABC Restaurant Equipment) before heading home from our fun Vintage Vacation. Though not a diner by architectural definition, it sure fit the bill in every other way when we ventured inside.

Opened in 1961 and still presided over by owner Pete Demas (who said he’s “got shoes older than you!” – I took it as a compliment). Locals at the counter, tasty affordable food, and friendly service even for us out of towners, we were glad we made the choice to head here.

Peter's Diner Bank Advertisment

I am not the most forward person sometimes when I’m doing my Retro Roadmapping, but I have gotten better about taking inside photos without the fear of someone yelling at me (don’t hold your breath for photos with strangers in ’em!). Luckily since we were on vacation I had the perfect legit excuse to snap some at Pete’s while we waited for our breakfasts.

Peter's Diner From Our Booth
The most expensive thing on the menu was a $9.95 Steak and Eggs combo, but really nothing else was more than $6. What a deal! They’re open year ’round for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I even heard Pete tell tale of making some extra meatloafs (meatloaves?) so a customer could freeze them and cook them herself. Don’t think you’d get that kind of service at a chain restaurant.

Peter's Diner Counter

It was neat to hear Pete and (his daughter?) the nice waitress have sassy banter with the folks at the end of the counter. A couple of older gentleman came in, and before they even sat down the waitress knew immediately what they were going to order. Some folks came in through the parking lot entrance and were greeted with a familiar “hello ladies!” as they walked towards a small table in the front.

As we cashed out in the front, I noticed a framed photo of a painting of the facade as well as what I can only imagine are many little fans of Pete’s diner.

Peters Diner Painting and Family

(I was told the painting is in a local museum – cool!)

While some people who don’t “get it” may find Pete’s a bit on the shabby side, we found it to be well loved and homey. For the time it took us to eat our tasty bacon and eggs, we felt like we slipped into a slice of small town life before we reluctantly made our way towards the highway.

Peter’s Diner
36 South Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801-3531
(518) 792-9772

*Heartfelt thanks go out to Larry Cultrera of Diner Hotline who corrected my assumption about the Prospect Mountain diner, the original having burned down and not remodeled, but replaced by the shiny diner now there in 2007. Here’s an article about the new Prospect Mountain Diner, c/o the staff at Diner History. Always want to have the most accurate information on the Retro Roadmap!

<a href=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/237/1116242/restaurant/New-York-State/Peters-Diner-Glens-Falls”><img alt=”Peter’s Diner on Urbanspoon” src=”http://www.urbanspoon.com/b/logo/1116242/minilogo.gif&#8221; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px” /></a>

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While downtown Lake George may boast the site of the first original miniature golf courses in the world, I was totally won over by the psychedelic cheeriness of  the 1970’s era Goony Golf located on Route 9.

It's The Gooniest!(I don’t know when he lost his title but it seems as if Sir Goony Golf – once part of a chain of mini golf courses -is now just regular ol Goony Golf according to their website)

Though nothing rivals my hometown love of the Route 1 Miniature Golf Giant Orange Dinosaur in Saugus MA, I was glad to see cousin presiding over Goonyville during our game:

Giant Orange Dinosaur - Saugus Relative?

As we drove up to Goony Golf ( with a quick stop at the gift shop –oooh try saying that 10 times fast!) I was battling a headache and the sun was behind clouds. But as soon as we paid our greens fees under the watchful glare of Jack atop his bean stock (looking like an axe murderer practically) things began to cheer up immediately.
Retro Roadhusband and Jack's Beanstalk

I mean how could I feel so blurgh with all of these crazy miniature golf holes to play, and photograph? Take a look at just some of the snapshots below and you’ll see what I mean. Even the sun came out during our visit – and best yet, we had the place to ourselves, so I took photos galore! Please note, there are a lot of holes I did photograph but didn’t post here because, well there should be some surprises when you go play!

Miniature Golf Heaven
I couldn’t help but feel like I had stepped into HR Puffenstuff when walking around these brightly painted oversized cartoon characters and groovy  flowers- and could just imagine the Brady kids having a Sunshine Day here.

Water Hazard

Goony Golf Mad Hatter

Mother Goose Gets Mad

And there was even a harkening back to my own 1970’s childhood when, By Golly A Lollypop was Following Me- and I really didn’t know what to do!

Good Golly This Lollypop is Following Me!

So while I could note that the repainting jobs on these vintage 1970’s creatures could’ve been done with a little more love, and BOY I wish they’d give the Goonybird some eyes, I’ll take the brightly colored snakes, bears and dragons over a plain brown organic miniature golf course any day!

Goony Golf
Corner of Rte 9N & Rte 9
Lake George, NY 12845


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After all these years of saying I wanted to go to Lake George NY and partake in the vintage vacation wonderfulness, Retro Roadhusband and I spent a long weekend up there, just before Memorial Day Weekend. While some of the town has been modernized to keep with the times, there were still plenty of Retro Roadmap worthy places to enjoy, not only in  LG proper but in the surrounding area.

Lake George Shop Gifts Souvenir

The timing of our visit was good price-wise, and quiet “have-the-town-to-yourself”wise, but some places were not open for the season, and others were closed on the days we visited. While this was a bit of a bummer, I think that just gives us an excuse to go back up there during the ON season!

Now onto some of our vacation slides- I think after seeing just a portion of what we were able to photo, you might want to put Lake George on your retro roadtrip summer schedule!

Retro Roadhusband at the Tiki Hotel we stayed at:

Retro Roadhusband at Tiki Hotel

Great old neon signs:

Mario's Restaurant, Italian Cuisine, Cocktails

Surfside On The Lake Neon Sign

Plenty of miniature golf options (more on where we played in an upcoming post!)

Golf Around the U.S. - Florida Orange

Ah, yes, Lake George – The LAKE!

Three Musketeers on VacationLake George has been called The Queen of American Lakes, is 32 miles long and is fed by huge underground springs. Since Thomas Jefferson’s time it has been a prized place not only for its beauty but for being a part of American history, in both the French /Indian wars as well as the Revolutionary war. Nowadays it’s a little more chill up there, but watch out for Americade, one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the US, I’m sure things will be a bit more lively that weekend :-)

Things we want to go back and explore:

Lakefront Log Cabin maybe?
Oooo Sullivan's Motel

or a roadside Cabin Court with shuffleboard?
Do-Rest Cabin Court Lake George NY

Authentic Worcester Diner in neighboring Bolton Landing – closed when we visited!
Bolton Beans - Closed on Mon!

Things we want to go back for but are not photographed: Magic Forest Amusement Park, One Of The Last Remaining Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, Mr. B’s Best Beef Restaurant, Davidson Brothers Brewpub and Cooper’s Cave Breweries in Glens Falls, a boat ride on the lake and also to redo the things we loved ( Martha’s, The Glen Drive In, more mini-golf) and so much more!

Do yourself a favor, and if you want an actual vintage vacation destination, check out the Lake George NY area, Retro Roadmap Recommended!

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Update 6/2011: I’ve been told via a comment on the photo below in Flickr that this business has closed. Bummer! Glad we were able to visit it when we did.

During our all too short visit to the Lake George region we discovered LG’s neighbor Glens Falls NY. With a few microbrew pubs, antique stores and legit old businesses, we took a few hours to walk around and explore. While this vintage sign originally beckoned us, the fact that ABC Restaurant Supply was open to the public was too much to resist.

ABC Restaurant Supply(Looks like this might’ve been a neon sign at one point, still well maintained though!)

Opened in 1945, this the place to explore if you’re looking for gigantic ladles, professional gauge baking sheets (got one!), glasses, plates, trays, bar stools and more. We could not resist picking up a trio of colorful Fiestaware ramekins – so handy for sauces a welcome addition to our Homer Laughlin collection back at the Hacienda. I’m sure the kind gentlemen working there were a bit amused by my oohing and aahing over the cheery colors!

Ah, Fiesta!So if you’re poking around Glens Falls and admiring the old fashioned signage, storefronts and businesses, know that ABC is open Monday – Friday 9am-5pm. I’m sure there’s something there you need/ want.

ABC Restaurant Equipment (CLOSED!)
28 Elm Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
(518) 793-3456

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