Milanese Italian Restaurant

Milanese Italian Restaurant
Lovely vintage neon sign for Milanese Italian Restaurant, 115 Main Street in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, just a few blocks from the Hudson River. Santino and Rita Milanese immigrated to the United States in 1956, and they opened their family restaurant in downtown Poughkeepsie in 1971. Their first customer was a lone truck driver who stopped to ask for directions. Today, Alessandro and Aldo Milanese, their sons, run the business and carry on the family tradition.
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Windsor Diner in Windsor, Vermont

Windsor Diner, at 135 Main Street in historic Windsor, Vermont, is a 1952 Worcester (#835) originally located in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. It is cash only. Known as the “birthplace of Vermont”, Windsor is where the 1777 Constitution of Vermont was adopted.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

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National Great Blacks in Wax Museum in Baltimore, Maryland

This eclectic museum brings the African American experience to life, but some sections are definitely not suitable for children.

As a fan of both history and wax museums, I was thrilled to discover this museum in Baltimore’s struggling northeastern neighborhood of Oliver. The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum features over 150 life-sized wax figures representing a range of personalities from African American history, as well as a few ancient ones as well.

The museum’s depiction of ancient history is, for lack of a better word, imaginative. In the entryway, a large figure of a dark-skinned Hannibal the Great sits on a war elephant. Hannibal, a Carthaginian leader who fought the Romans circa 218 BC, was ethnically Phoenician, not from Sub-Saharan Africa. Likewise, the museum depicts Egyptian pharaohs as black when they were actually Middle Eastern in origin. Some even had red hair.

Perhaps the most controversial exhibits have to do with the Atlantic slave trade, lynching, and racism. It’s estimated 12 to 12.8 million Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic over a span of 400 years under horrible conditions. The wax exhibit leaves nothing to the imagination.

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Ralph’s Rock Diner in Worcester, Massachusetts

Ralph’s Rock Diner, at 148 Grove Street in Worcester, Massachusetts, is a 1930 Worcester model, #660. The Worcester Lunch Car Company operated in this city from 1906 to 1957 and manufactured hundreds of lunch carts and classic diners. Robert and Mamie Gilhooly originally opened this diner on Grove Street in Worchester’s Chadwick Square (hence the name, Chadwick Square Diner).

After Gilhooly’s death in 1955, James and Mary Clingen purchased the diner. In 1979, ownership passed to Ralph Moberly, who moved the diner to its current location, next to a brick fire station. This unique establishment is a bar and music venue. it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

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Redwood Motel with Color TV!

Redwood Motel with Color TV!
It’s unfortunate this vintage motel sign, at 3912 N. Hackbarth Road (off U.S. Route 14) outside Janesville, Wisconsin, is partially hidden behind bushes and looks to be missing its neon lights. Check out the sign for “color TV”! Luxurious. In the mid-twentieth century, many motor inns adopted a “populuxe” style to appeal to travelers on a budget, promising comfortable accommodations at an affordable price.

Martindale Chief Diner in Craryville, New York

Martindale Chief Diner, at 1000 NY-23 in Craryville, New York, is a 1958 Silk City (#5087), formerly owned by Bert Coons, who operated several diners in that area (three of which had the “chief” theme). It’s unfortunate someone removed the neon lights from this slightly politically incorrect sign.

Look for a new diner every Tuesday in 2019! Click to expand photos.

Diner Resources

Fosters Coach House Tavern

Fosters Coach House Tavern
Neon sign for Fosters Coach House Tavern, at 6411 Montgomery Street (U.S. Route 9) in Rhinebeck, New York, along the Hudson River. The tavern opened in 1890 and its first owner was named Walter Decker. Wally Foster called it Foster’s Coach House in the 1940s. In 2016, the Bender family purchased it from Bob and Karen Kirwood, restored it to its original furnishings, menu, and decor, and have been running it ever since. It is a staple of downtown Rhinebeck.