I am, admittedly, a 90 year-old-woman trapped in a millennial body. I am very okay with this. I do crosswords with my boyfriend, I wonder if I should take up knitting, I really should go to bed by 10, and I nurse the same drink throughout an entire night out. It’s great.
Today, my probably 90-year-old spirited boyfriend (Kieran) and I went to the diner for brunch, just like we used to do every Saturday before his work schedule got crazy. When Kieran got up to go to the bathroom, I found myself looking around the quaint diner in Croton, reminiscing on “the good old days” that I never actually experienced.
That is the awesome thing about diners – they let you freeze time a little. Looking around the place, I realized I wasn’t necessarily in 2015. It could have been any time, really. Diners tend to look a little retro to begin with. But it’s not just that. It’s the whole environment. It manages to hang onto that old-fashioned notion of local community and family-owned institutions. It’s slower paced – not in the amount of time it takes to get your food, but in the way the owner’s wife stops to talk to a family on her way to take orders from the next table. And I didn’t care! Please, have your chat, it was lovely to overhear.
After I thought about veritable time travel for a bit, I looked around more closely at the people. I realized that diners are universal. There’s a young working-class family. There are couples of all ages sprinkled throughout, Kieran and I representing the “young” (ha) demographic. There are old friends getting waffles. There are people of all races, ages, and kind. But being in the diner together, I felt connected to each of them. Where I might have thought about differences, I instead thought about how nice it was that we all got to share this space and be a community.
On top of all that, if it wasn’t feel good enough for you already, diners also have the following qualities to recommend them:
They are inexpensive…
- …for big portions I can never finish.
- The variety of good, classic food is pretty epic. Everyone in the mood for something different? Go to a diner!
- Coffee. Mugs of coffee with refills. -sigh-
- Milkshakes and egg creams #vintage
- They are often open at all hours
- Casual and relaxed environment
- Friendly hosts, waitstaff, and owners that make you feel like it’s all good, yo.
My point is, diners are really the best, and we should all frequent them often and at every time of day. Because if the concept of a diner no longer exists when I have kids, I am probably going to cry. Support your local diner!
Paid for by my daydreams at Croton Diner, though the industry should really be giving me money for this. ;)