Saturday, February 23, 2013

Breakfast in Philipsburg

Over the years, around the time of my birthday, I have taken a day off from my routine, whatever that might be, to do something different. Maybe something I have never done before. I'd never had breakfast in Philipsburg. So the plan was to walk around this small town that is 20 miles from home, a place I have just driven through on the way to somewhere else, take pictures and look for a local diner serving breakfast.

It's 9:00 AM Friday morning and I walk down the main street, Front Street, and nothing is happening. No traffic, no pedestrians. I step into the middle of the street to take a picture of nothing happening. Almost all of the storefronts are Closed, For Sale, For Rent or Lease, their windows papered over or displaying junk and debris. A few of the once grand old buildings show signs of previous renovation but are now abandoned once again. Fayes Place, a diner I thought had potential, is closed, for sale. The Rowland Theater, built in 1917, one of those ornate theaters with red velvet seats, now owned by the town and operated by volunteers, has been reduced to nightly showings of "Escape from Planet Earth".

I think this is the tale of so many a small town these days. If there is commerce it is happening beyond main street, at the mall, the big box stores, the Wal Marts. In Philipsburg even this is not happening. The inhabitants work and shop else where.

But an inquiry does lead me to what I was looking for a few blocks away on Pine Street, a place called the Retro Eatery established just a year ago by two sisters. With good funding they created a pleasant space in retro style black and white and red with a menu offering the expected mac 'n cheese local fare but stretching into salmon florentine salad. I order eggs benedict, drink coffee, and observe a table of ten men enjoying each others company over a late breakfast. I hear one say, "I won't be here next Friday, I'll be driving" , and wonder if this gathering is a regular thing.

I leave with my feelings for local businesses re-enforced. Here is a bright spot amidst the ruins. A place offering a service to neighbors and much needed employment to a few. The exchange of goods and services for monies stays within the community and supports it.

Notes: I met a "newfie" walking her man to the post office and a 350 year old "heritage oak" standing in a graveyard where 13 civil war veterans are buried.

A few more images. Click to enlarge.


rtuts said...

Nice! That Newfoundland is amazing!! Glad you had a successful day off!

Marty said...

That last shot of the brick wall with gray wooden door insert and the peekaboo second brick face is truly astonishing. All the pictures are good!