Roadside explores the back road and Main Streets of America. Our recipe for an American renaissance: Eat in diners, ride trains, shop on Main Street, put a porch on your house, live in a walkable community.

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New England Country...
New England Country Collectibles
Name: New England Country Collectibles

Very large, but tragically remodeled space-age style DeRaffele formerly used as retail store for dust-baiting collectibles. Formerly Tina's Diner and San Remo restaurant. Suffered a fire that had forced an interior renovation. As of 2014, gutted, close ...
State: CT

Angelo's Orchid Diner
Angelo's Orchid Diner
Name: Angelo's Orchid Diner

Well-preserved classic, serving breakfast and lunch. American food with Portuguese specialties. Salmon pie.

State: MA
Olympia Diner
Olympia Diner
Name: Olympia Diner

Huge diner with spectacular, much-photographed neon sign. Possibly the largest diner built by O'Mahony. American food, Greek specialties.

Photos by Gail Rush.

State: CT
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Gardening Moves Up Front

Garden in front of my houseThe Philadelphia Inquirer ran a feature last Friday about people who want to bring back the "victory garden," and put them in their front yards. The idea of replacing lawns with vegetables could be considered downright subversive in some communities, but it makes complete sense to us. In fact, we do it. This year, I turned over a small patch of turf between my driveway and my property line and planted four tomato vines. It had more to do with the amount of sun it gets there than any statement I wanted to make, but in my thinking, anything that shrinks the amount of grass I have to mow (with my vintage push-reel mower), the better. The subject of the Inquirer's story, Roger Doiron, told the reporter, "People are starting to rethink what a healthy landscape looks like. It's not the TruGreen chemical lawn anymore. It's a landscape that's more multipurpose, that combines beauty and utility." Right on, brother. I don't water my lawn. I don't fertilize it. It's loaded with crabgrass and the occasional dandelion, but it's green and it doesn't otherwise cost me anything to maintain. I can spend that money on other things, like my daughter's future. My garden, on the other hand, just provided me with enough tomatoes for a huge batch of chili, dozens of sandwiches, and other meals with plenty left over to share with my neighbors -- and with the other critters in residence.

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