Part 2, New York state road-trip, May, 1985

I finally completed the scanning of slides for this post….. Part 2 of the road-trip I took from May 20th to 22nd, 1985. Part 1 was posted almost a month ago on August 28th. I will start this post where I left off… it was the afternoon of the second day of the road-trip which turned out to be nice and sunny which made it easier to shoot slides (Kodachrome). Sometime later I figured out that Ektachrome slide film was extremely better for shooting in the varying light situations I found during these extended road-trips and used that almost exclusively until I  stopped shooting 35mm film in the last 6 years.

At the end of Part 1, I was documenting the J.R. Diner on Wolf Street in Syracuse. I posted the first 2 slides I shot of that particular diner. It seems I had to start a new roll of film as there were 2 more shots of this on the new roll.


J.R. Diner, 1208 Wolf St. in Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


J.R. Diner, 1208 Wolf St. in Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After J.R. Diner, I found Mario’s Little Gem Diner over at 832 Spencer St. This was a great example of a 1950’s streamlined, L-shaped Fodero diner featuring plenty of stainless steel with red flexglass strips. Mario Biasi was now operating this  diner after formerly being associated with another smaller stainless-steel Silk City diner in North Syracuse. I believe I ate dinner here that evening.


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera


Mario’s Little Gem Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo
by Larry Cultrera

Next up was a non-streamlined Sterling diner operating as the Liberty Diner. Located at 4004 South Salina St. (Rte. 11) it looked to be in original condition from the outside (except for the porcelain steel panels being painted a brown color) .  I never got to go inside this one so I don’t no what the inside was like. The sun was behind this place somewhat so I am only showing 2 of the 4 photos I shot as the other 2 were somewhat in shadow. This diner was dismantled a number of years later and the parts put into storage if I recall correctly.


Liberty Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Liberty Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After this I ended up downtown near City Hall and found the Miss Syracuse Diner, a slightly modified Bixler diner. I got some decent shots of this one….


exterior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


exterior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


exterior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior of the Miss Syracuse Diner, 258 East Water St., Syracuse, NY
May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

I then ended up on Geddy St. to take these late afternoon shots of Denny’s Diner. This place was not related to the national chain of Denny’s Restaurants but it looks like they borrowed the logo somewhat for this little barrel-roofed diner covered in stucco.


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Denny’s Diner, Syracuse, NY – May 21, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

I started out the next day having breakfast at the diner formerly run by Mario Biasi (of Mario’s Little Gem Diner) This diner was known as Mario’s Diner when Al Bellink and Don Kaplan reviewed it for their “Diners of the Northeast” book (1980, The Berkshire Travellers Press). It was operating as the Pelican Diner when I visited it on this road-trip. I understand it has since been moved to Canastota, NY since to become the Canastota Dinerant.


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Pelican Diner, North Syracuse, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After breakfast, I left the Syracuse area and headed east. I do not recall if I traveled Rte. 5 out of Syracuse but I do know I did end up on Rte. 5 and eventually made it to Herkimer, NY. I knew from my buddy David Hebb that Herkimer was the home to the Empire Diner, a 1950’s vintage Mountain View diner. I got there at a great time of the day because the sun was shining directly on the place for some excellent post card worthy photos.


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Empire Diner, corner of North Main and State Streets (Rte 5)
Herkimer, NY – May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

After Herkimer, I consulted my road atlas and made my way toward Lake George by way of Johnstown and Gloversville, NY. Back in 1969 when I was on a weeks vacation with my family we spent most of our time in Lake George but managed to make a side trip to Cooperstown to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame. While there we stayed at the Johnstown/Gloversville Holiday Inn for one night. This was my first trip back to the area since 1969 and it was interesting to see how much I remembered as I checked out the towns while driving through. I continued on my way toward Great Scanandaga Lake and was on Rte. 30 when I came across the Dun Dozin’ Diner in Mayfield. It was a late 1930’s vintage Monarch model built by the Jerry O’Mahony Company. The exterior was intact but painted over and had a manasrd roof covering the front and sides. The interior was in remarkable condition. I did take photos of the interior but apparently had no flash for the camera which certainly would have made for better images. But I figure, the ones I got were better than nothing. This diner has since gotten enlarged and somewhat hidden (from the outside) and is now operating as the Northampton Diner. The interior is still fairly original. This diner was originally located in Glens Falls and operated under names such as Miss Glens Falls Diner and the Glen’s Diner.


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior view of the Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior view of the Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera


interior view of the Dun Dozin’ Diner, Rte. 30, Mayfield, NY
May 22, 1985 photo by Larry Cultrera

On to Lake George for the conclusion of this road-trip where I apparently took one shot of the Prospect Mt. Diner. It seems like I removed that particular slide from the box for whatever reason lost to memory. I would surmise that I either put it with other slides of that diner or that it was just not a good photo. I know I shot one as it would have been the last shot on a 36 exposure roll of film and the box has the name scratched out.

Notes from the Hotline, 9-5-2011

Diners of Pennsylvania, Second Edition


Diners of Pennsylvania Front Cover, Second Edition

I got my official copy of Diners of Pennsylvania back in March. I have also been meaning to mention something here about this book but the writing of my own book, Classic Diners of Massachusetts for “The History Press” sort of took priority. I actually read this new version prior to publication (and prior to receiving my hardcopy) as I was privileged to be one of the people to write a blurb for the back cover. This book, published by “Stackpole Books” out of Mechanicsburg, PA is the latest in this series that the publisher initiated with the first edition (of Diners of Pennsylvania) back in 1999.

Back then co-authors Brian Butko and Kevin Patrick did an outstanding job. In fact, I will say it was groundbreaking in the compilation of information along with the photos and maps that accompanied the text, (as I said in my blurb on the back cover) making it a benchmark for all the other books that followed it!  Thanks to the combined effort of Butko, Patrick and editor Kyle Weaver (the 3rd co-author for this new edition), this updated version surpasses the first remarkably without effort. It also helps that all the photos are in full color this time around, making for the finest presentation of any the publisher has done previously.

According to Brian Butko, Kyle Weaver did the “on the road” research, sometimes with other people along. Brian says; “so for example, he and I drove Western PA together. Plus I had been collecting updates along the way. Then we all proofed it together. It’s very much a 3-way effort – not that we did it all together, but our parts blend seamlessly I think”. I would have to agree with Brian, it did all blend seamlessly and it is a must for any diner afficianado’s book collection!

Peanut Mobile sighting in Boston on July 30th

Denise and I took a subway ride into Boston on July 30th and checked out the Planters Peanut Mobile at City Hall Plaza. The vehicle was on a National Tour and had stopped in Beantown that weekend!


Planters Peanut Mobile, July 30, 2011 photo by Larry Cultrera


Planters Peanut Mobile, July 30, 2011 photo by Larry Cultrera


Planters Peanut Mobile, July 30, 2011 photo by Larry Cultrera


Larry & Denise Cultrera with Mister Peanut, photo courtesy of
Planters Peanuts

While we were there, we walked over to an adjacent building and I finally shot the famous steaming “Teapot”….

Mike O’Connor checks in with an update on his continuing restoration of Worcester Lunch Car No. 705

Thought you might like to see how Worcester Lunch Car No. 705 is progressing, feel free to post them on your weblog! Dennis Day from Sterling, Mass. did the lettering he took his time and did a great job. We are very happy with the whole project and can’t thank Gary Thomas enough for his great work on No. 705 ! I’m planning on keeping it here on my property and enjoying it with our friends. It is a great place for car club meetings, etc. regards, Mike & Maggie Ann O’Connor


Interior of Worcester Lunch car No. 705. All the back-bar cabinetry was created by Gary Thomas. Photo courtesy of Mike O’Connor.


Exterior showing the newly painted lettering. The diner now has its original name back on it. The Park Diner was delivered to Horace Mayhew in Salem, NH on June 14, 1933. Photo courtesy of Mike O’Connor.


Maggie Ann’s The Park Diner with all the exterior lights on.
Photo courtesy of Mike O’Connor.

Latest acquisition for my Diner Postcard collection

I was checking Ebay recently and saw a postcard I did not know existed! It was a “long” postcard of the original Prospect Mountain Diner, a “double-wide” 1950 Silk City diner that was destroyed in a fire a few years ago. Located in Lake George, NY, I have memories from my teen years when my family vacationed in that resort town, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains.
I also frequented the diner many times since then, whenever I was in Lake George. Therefore, it really saddened me when the diner burned! There were not that many examples of a double-wide Silk City to my knowledge, and this was almost pristine. Anyway, here is the postcard I purchased…..


Postcard view showing exterior of diner with an interior view of the Rickshaw Room Annex as well as the kitchen. This was a rarity, the diner served a typical comfort food menu while the annex served Chinese cuisine.