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A look at Albuquerque’s Route 66 November 27, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Attractions, Businesses, Motels, Restaurants.
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The St. Petersburg Times has a long article about Albuquerque’s Route 66 district. Earning prominent mention are such 66 stalwarts as the Aztec Motel, 66 Diner and Nob Hill. No mention of the endangered El Vado Motel, though.

Freeway to nowhere November 26, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.
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Aroll Gellner in the San Francisco Chronicle explains why Route 66 aficionados eschew the interstates when possible and sticks to the old two-lane roads.

Charles Kuralt, the longtime “On the Road” correspondent for CBS News, once observed that “thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” Since Kuralt made that comment a generation ago, things have only gotten worse. Nowadays, instead of not seeing anything, we just see the same things over and over, no matter where we go.

Although the interstate system crisscrosses some of the most splendidly varied landscape on the earth, it has also helped make traveling that landscape an experience of unparalleled monotony. It matters little whether you’re on the left coast or the right, on the Canadian border or in the Deep South: As long as you stay near the freeway, you could be anywhere or nowhere. …

The pity is, you wouldn’t know what was lost unless you had seen what came before. Motor down what’s left of Highway 97 in Northern California, or Highway 1 along the New England coast, or the legendary Route 66 that once spanned Chicago to Santa Monica, and you can still get a vivid sense of what it was like before modern freeways.

On your own time, you traverse a landscape reflecting America’s kaleidoscopic variety, each town unique in its geography, lifestyles, industry, food and pastimes. This colorful pageant of Americana is what the interstates and their environs deny us. In its place, we’re fed bland cultural pabulum for mile upon monotonous mile; a landscape strategized, formulated and set in place by indifferent strangers in a far-off boardroom instead of by the locals in their own front rooms. …

But in paring off those few minutes and miles, we’ve also doomed ourselves to miss that hoagie, that cheese steak, that spiedie sauce, or that slab of Flint’s barbecue, not to mention that clunky cup of MJB served by a waitress named Dot whose greeting comes from her own head instead of some corporate manual, and who reminds us that the real America is still out there, beyond the off-ramps and down the road.

Read the whole thing. Kuralt would agree with its sentiments.

New teaser trailer for “Cars” movie November 26, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Movies.
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Apple’s QuickTime site has released a new teaser trailer for the Route 66-themed movie, “Cars,” from Pixar Animation Studios. The movie will be released June 2006.

There also are some big honkin’ high-definition files of the trailer if you really want to test your bandwidth.

(NOTE: This requires QuickTime 7.0 to run the file.)

Long story on the Fat Man Walking November 26, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in People.
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The Dallas Morning News has just published a long story about Steve Vaught, the obese man who’s trying to lose weight by walking across America, including on Route 66. The story is here. Steve’s thefatmanwalking.com site, which I’ve referred to often in the past, is here.

A holiday message November 24, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Web sites.
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Thanks for the sentiments.

More about underground gas tanks development November 23, 2005

Posted by Ron Warnick in Businesses.
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A few weeks ago, I found a tidbit in the Holbrook (Ariz.) Tribune-News about a new program to develop property that once had old underground fuel tanks on them. More details about the program have emerged today.

Through a partnership with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the EPA has decided to test a new program along Route 66 in Holbrook, Joseph City and Winslow. The Route 66 Development Initiative in Navajo County will be a pilot program to determine whether it is appropriate for other towns along Route 66.

Considering that many old stretches of Route 66 remain blighted because developers are too skittish of those old remediation sites, I’d say this program is long overdue.

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