Friday, July 29, 2005

Roadside America

On our drive from Staten Island to Westmoreland County, Barry stopped at a little place not too far from Stroudsburg, PA, that he remembered visiting as a little boy. It is Roadside America, an amazing model railroad setup that is still operated as a tourist attraction by the descendants of the man who set it all up. (He died in 1963.) It's just one big room with walkways around the edge so that you can see the whole setup.

It's hard to describe, but it's worth the stop if you're ever around the area. It's hokey and mushy and cute. Every half hour they make everybody come sit on risers and watch as they make "night" come to the railroad village; the room lights dim, tiny street lights come on, homes light up, then as the room becomes darker, the house lights go out once more and the landscape sleeps except for the trains which go on and on. Come "morning," the street lights come off, house lights come on, and the "sky" begins to lighten up with daybreak.

Two cute little old ladies were running the place when we arrived. If I understand it correctly, one of them is the daughter of the gentleman who built the display.

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