Muffler Men are a funny bunch. Clearly they need looking after and checking in on now and then.
The last time I was in the neighborhood in 2009, I stopped in to take a peek at the Bunyan-style Muffler Man that hangs out at the House of Doors. He was looking good then and I’m happy to report in 2011 he is still looking fab.
Long Island has one Muffler Man on it’s shores. It is an indian-style man that stands outside of the Riverhead Raceway oval where he’s been waving to the traffic since the 1970’s. He’s always visible. Why not stop by and say how…err, Hi?
1797 Old Country Road
Riverhead, New York 11901
Fun Fact: This particular muffler man was once featured in a scene of the Sopranos.
Roadside America is the online mother-load of weird and wonderful kitschy destinations. Categorized by state, the website can help you punctuate a ride or a trip with some super funky spots to stop at along the way.
If this isn’t your first time reading this blog then you are probably well acquainted with the fact that I often stop to see roadside gems in my travels. Well, thanks to the iPhone and Roadside America’s forwarding thinking – there is an app to make ridiculous road tripping even easier. Now you can have listings of muffler men, giant fiberglass gorillas and giant balls of twine right in your tankbag without any pre-planning.
Just like the website, the app attractions contains a description, photos, a rating, any contact information and a link to Google maps to pull up directions. What more do you need?
Single Region – $2.99 Pick one region of the US: California, Northwest, Southwest, Midwest, Southeast or Northeast
50 States – For and additional $5.99 you can have access to all 50 states for 1 year.
Feature – Near Me
Using the iPhone’s location service, you can see the 25 closest attractions to you. So, if you find yourself in a coffee shop in an unfamiliar town, you can just poke a few buttons and 1-2-3… start riding towards a giant mechanical eagle that just happens to be a hop, skip and a jump away.
Feature – Themes
Feel like finding the closest Muffler Man? How about dinosaurs, UFOs or a zombie army? Well then, just give the Theme button a tap and voila! You’ll get a topical listing of your desired weirdness. This can make for a nice theme-based ride if you’re looking for something different to do.
Feature – Submit Tip
Whoa Nelly! Did you just stumble upon something that isn’t already listed on Roadside America? Well, hot damn! Go ahead and submit a tip to the site right from the app.
What Else Is There?
Search, Cities, Random, Been There, Share on Twitter or Facebook – All good stuff.
I bought the Northeast region. For $3, I’m happy to have a database of silliness in my pocket. I probably wouldn’t spring for the whole US unless I was planning on taking a big trip.
Using my phone as a guide, I took a ride to see Long Island attractions and marked them as “been there” in the app. That was pretty fun. I really like that it can take away the need to plan in advance and I’m all for doing less work. Would I recommend the app to other roadside lovers? You betcha!
With the fiberglass giants getting up there in age, they often need some upkeep and repair. They also get customized and personalized. Many of them have unique features like chest hair, eyelashes, and in blue-eyed Stan’s case, white gloves.
I don’t know that I want to venture a guess as to what he’s up to with those gloves on but he looks like he’s beckoning you to ‘bring it on!’
With the new addition of 2 muffler men from Pennsylvania on our recent excursion to visit the Bedford Coffee Pot, my little collection of photos has grown. I’m pretty sure the first Muffler Man I photographed was back in March of 2007 while on a cold ride around the Mohawk Trail in Massachusetts. Now I never leave home on a trip without first checking to see if I’ll be near one. They just represent a fading piece of Americana I want to capture. There are only so many left and I want t see them all!
So far we’ve seen Muffler Men in: California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
There is 1 Muffler Man that I covet in the mid-west. Maybe that’ll be on my To Do List for 2010. ::crosses fingers::