Oakhurst Diner

Parkhurst Diner, Millerton, New York © Steven Willard

Oakhurst Diner, Millerton, New York © Steven Willard

I’m going to guess that we all do it now and then. We make a photograph, but don’t quite know why.

Oh, I know I was attracted to the play of light on the stainless clad diner. It reminded me of all the times I’d eaten at these iconic eateries where the dining experience had as much to do with place as much as the food they served. I have practically no sense of smell, but even I could make out the smell of grilling hamburgers, a powerful, if subtle, advertisement to come in and eat.

I know that I was taken in by the strong red-orange components from the horizontal accent on the building, to the vertical sign posts, and the store hours sign on the door and its reflection. But it’s also there in the hydrant and protective pipe on the right, and even in the “Open” sign in the far background. I had to have been affected by that brilliant blue sky, and the warm day it oversaw. The couple, dressed in shorts, enjoying a leisurely pause after lunch, watching the parade of visitors to their town.

There was a buzz of ambient noise that, contrary to being irrritating, leant a happy mood to the street. There was the sound of cars and motorcycles, ticking bicycle derailleurs, kids laughing and people talking. It’s a small town, and this background noise was an indication that the shops were open and tending to trade. It meant that money was being left in the pockets of the locals, and that at least for now, the economy of this small town was safe, and the people living here were, too.

It was a lovely day. Maybe that’s all I saw when I made this photograph; not much, and everything.

Olympus OMD EM1 with 12-40mm f2.8 zoom. Processed in Photoshop CS4.

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