Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Diasporic Dining XXXXII: The Roscoe Diner
photograph of The Roscoe Diner by Hallie Cohen
The Roscoe Diner is a modern day oasis. It’s flagstone
exterior facing the local Mobil station in the town after which it's named (the exit is actually Roscoe/Lew Beach) is
a cynosure to travelers taking scenic Route 17 through the Catskills.
Livingston Manor, which boasts The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum is only a few miles down the road. Part of what makes The
Roscoe Diner so special is not the menu, which is fairly typical for diners,
everywhere, containing as it does a list of offerings that reads like the
roster of the UN. Rather it derives its power from the void which surrounds it.
Diners of this sort withcozy leather
booths are a dime a dozen in Queens, and there's definitely a main drag in
Roscoe which boast more ambitious fare aimed at the affluent angling crowd. But
here you have a touch of the urban desert in the middle of what's essentially an enormous nature preserve. Entering the diner, you have your choice of dusty rose
or magenta booths with Plexiglas partitions that make them into little
cubicles through which you can regard the other patrons like exhibits of
prehistoric life at the Museum of Natural History. There are college pendants
hanging across the walls from Union, The University of Scranton, Syracuse, Potsdam and Oswego amongst others and if you’re in a rush you can sit at the counter with its
leather upholstered swinging stools which are almost posh. By the way you’re
old style waitress (not server), who talks out of the side of her mouth, and comes rightout ofcentral casting,is likely to give you a little something on
the house for which he or she expects to receive their just reward. Sometimes
it’s nice to go somewhere and feel like you’re nowhere or to find something
familiar in the middle of nowhere and The Roscoe Diner fulfills both of these
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.