Monday, October 24, 2011

Breakfast at National Coney Island

This one’s on the intersection of Gratiot Avenue and I-696 in Roseville, MI. A huge tower marks it—visible from every sky direction long, long before you reach it. To tell the story of my breakfast, I have to subject you to the tedium of “getting on in years,” which is a euphemism for aging.

For readers over fifty, this will serve as a tutorial on things to come. Younger souls might want to skip. I have what I call Medical Days these days, meaning recurring doctor’s visits. After my tête à tête with Dr. LR, I step next door to deliver samples of body fluids. But all of this requires that I should arrive in a fasting condition. For this reason I make appointments as early as possible.

In what still seemed like dead-of-night I found a slip on the rug before the tub, a note from Brigitte saying: “Since you’ll already be at Nine Mile road, why not try to get some peanut butter? ❤ B” Long story here. Peanut prices about to spike 30 percent, we want to stock up before they rise, and long experience has taught me that the lowest prices are at Walmart and at Aldi’s—both close to the geographical point that Brigitte’s “Nine Mile road” signals.

Starved, therefore, and dizzy with lack of coffee, I went to get Smucker’s at Walmart ($2.48 per jar). On the way back the National Coney Island Tower proved irresistible, so I stopped for breakfast—before I went on to Aldi’s where the peanut butter is even cheaper ($1.69 a jar), albeit it isn’t “natural.” Then with two flats holding 24 jars, home.

My first visit to NCI - Roseville—but a delightful discovery. We have these markers, you might call them, markers of times gone by. String theory in physics suggests that time travel is possible if you can harness the energies of something like a mid-sized quasar. But those in the know (thus people who are “getting on in years”) know that time travel is already entirely here and now, and if you want to experience the 1950s—both in physical settings, the taste of food, the cheerful service, and the clientele—you need but get in a car around about 8:30 am on an October Monday and travel to Gratiot and 696 to find it at places like the National Coney Island. I shall be back again. On my next Medical Day.


  1. Well... it was not Breakfast at Tiffany's, that's for sure. But I'd like to try is myself next time I have a medical morning.

  2. I declare this blog post to be entirely tasty-sounding!

  3. Love the style of the National Coney Island marker - is it truly vintage or a retro reproduction? At least the necessity of a medical morning was the catalyst to a delightful discovery.

  4. This marker has been there all of my life, it was a Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips in the 1970's and later a Dimtri in the 1980's. But it use to be another place before that!

  5. The restaurant started out as Susie-Q's Fish & Chips in the 60s. They erected the large conical sign that also revolves. It then became Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips throughout the 70s, then Dimitris, and finally National Coney Island

    1. Thanks for that most interesting history. Everything we see has the deepest imaginable roots....


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