Monday, November 1, 2010

Miss Albany Diner

I'm very fond of the Miss Albany Diner, though I don't get there as often as I'd like.

It's a quirky old school prefab "Silk City" diner that was shipped from the Ward & Dickinson Dining Car Company in Paterson, New Jersey to Albany in 1941, complete with counters and stools ready for hungry customers. Erected on the former site of a small lunch cart, it was first called Lil's, then Elaine's, the Firehouse, and the Streetcar.

The diner was finally renamed Miss Albany after being restored and used as a filming location for the 1986 movie Ironweed.

(There was a previous chain of Miss Albany diners in the 1920s. I've found the ghost sign for one on the rear of the building that forms the point where Washington and Central Avenues converge opposite Townsend Park.)

To this day, it remains filled from one end to the other with original details and Art Deco charm. There's a cow's head on the roof, too...and I remember where it came from!

As for the favorite is their really good grilled ham-and-cheese. I like it with an iced coffee on the side.

I took this photo of Miss Albany about six weeks ago and hadn't decided what to do with it. Until today. According to a post on the diner's Facebook page, Miss Albany's owner passed away this morning. I never met Clifford Brown in person, but I always admired him for respecting his diner's history and keeping that intact over the year. My condolences to his family and everyone at the iconic little diner on Broadway.

According to Mr. Brown's wishes, the diner will be "open for business as usual."

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