Friday, October 16, 2009

EAT: The Sign

Mastic, New York - February, 1991

This bleak scene caught my eye one cold winter day in 1991, while tooling around the east end in my little black Nissan Sentra. They were the only pictures I took that day, too. Four frames, three angles of view. I probably drove over 125 miles for two horizontal, and two almost identical verticals, and I never did anything with them till now.

And of course, I only came across them while looking for something else, naturally. But what intrigued me was that I swear I've seen this sign more recently than eighteen years ago. I think it was used sometime in the last few years in the Zippy the Pinhead comic strip.

(For those of you unfamiliar, Zippy is a surrealistic daily comic strip, nothing at all like your father's Blondie. Bill Griffith, the creator, has his title character  visiting diners and bowling alleys,
interacting with various roadside icons: holding hallucinogenic conversations with Bob's Big Boy, for example. He also draws detailed scenes like the photo above, with lots of signs and power lines, for Zippy to wander through.)

This place is still open, too. I did a little Googling on the name (Jimmy's Diner, the sign is visible in one of the other frames) and tracked down the place in Mastic. Odd, since I thought for sure it was somewhere on the north shore, along route 25A. Google Maps and street view show a remodeled building on the corner, but alas, no sign. The gas station, like a lot of Getty stations here on the Island, is now a Lukoil, but the utility poles don't seem to have been replaced or moved, and they still tilt at almost the same angles.



Sharon said...

Sign's gone now, you say? I bet they regret not preserving it.

Steve Rogg said...

I drove by that spot many times in the late 70's to early 80's. My sister's first house was about 1 miles south of Montauk Highway in Mastic. Can't remember the sign or the dinner. Then again I was setting myself on fire back then. I do remember going to my sister's with my parents the day after you put me out.