Tag: Roadside Stuff

2011 In Review: Big, Silly, Weird and Wonderful Sights from the Road

2011 In Review: Big, Silly, Weird and Wonderful Sights from the Road

Finding a roadside treasure while riding my motorcycle is one of the simple joys in my life. There is a happiness that only spotting a 15 foot fiberglass cauliflower can bring. Am I right?

From the Road in 2011:

Bigfoot – Happy Camp, California

Bigfoot Happy Camp California
While riding along on CA96, I was excited to see the school bus icon on the GPS get closer and closer to the town of Happy Camp. I knew this awesome giant was in town and I couldn’t wait to see him. He was more impressive than I imagined he’d be.
……….

CA36 Shoe Tree

Shoe Tree on California 36

There are other celebrity shoe trees out there in the world that are more “popular” than this one on CA36. Sadly, several of these perennial favorites have fallen victim to soleless vandals. (See what I did there?) 

I had no idea this shoe tree existed so you can imagine my surprise when we found this baby in all of it’s shoe-filled glory.

……….

Hat Creek Muffler Man

Hat Creek Muffler Man California
This fella relocated from Dunsmuir to Hat Creek. In the process he got some spiffy new clothes and a very smart looking cowboy hat. I’m sure that after all of those year of standing at Daily Drivers’ Auto Care, a change of scenery was nice.
……….

Hayward Muffler Man – California

Big Mike Hayward Muffler Man California
It seems that we were able to get an audience with Big Mike shortly before he was sold and taken down. I don’t know where he’s headed but it’s nice to know someone cared enough to take him home instead of sending him to the big fiberglass dump in the sky.
……….

Willits Muffler Man – California

Muffler Man Willits california
This well-cared for Muffler Man is found on the Willits Rodeo Grounds. He is behind a locked gate until rodeo time. Anyone know if he wear cowboy boots?
……….

Big Shoe Building – Bakersfield, California

Big Shoe Repair Bakersfield
Shoes, roadside attraction, motorcycles. It’s like the holy trinity of things that I love! Giant rope shoelace? ::swoon::
……….

The Big Duck – Long Island

The Big Duck Flanders Long sland
The Big Duck is one of my favorite things about Long Island. Now at 80 years old, it is also one of the greatest surviving examples of programmatic architecture. I find it nearly impossible to ride past it without stopping for a photo. Did I just hear Kenny mumble, “I know”?
……….

Partridge Family Bus – Ashland, NY

Partridge Family Bus
The Partiridge Family Bus replica that sits on Route 23 in Ashland, NY doesn’t appear to have moved since I last saw it 4 years prior. C’mon, get happy all over town in that thing, already!
……….

“The Big White Guy” – Chicopee, Massachusetts

Chicopee Man Muffler Man
According to Roadside America, the Big White Guy is a Texaco Big Friend.
He has such a dopey-eyed, simple look about him, doesn’t he? I just know his voice would sound like Bing Crosby.
……….

South Park Monster Truck Bus – Leggett, California

South Park Monster Truck Bus

What I wouldn’t have given to be driven to school each day in that baby.

The whole time I was standing there, in my head I sang “Goin’ down to South Park, gonna have ourselves a time…” in my best impression of Les Claypool’s wacky twang.

……….

Mustachioed Muffler Man – Merced, California

Merced Muffler Man

There is something about this particular muff that makes me think of “Bob,” the dude who took the armoire from Kramer on Seinfeld.

I believe this is the first muffler man that I’ve seen who happens to have a very hip mustache.

……….

Excited Elephant – Connecticut

Elephant loves the Speed Triple
One hot summer day in 2011, I was stuck in a line of traffic crawling along at 35mph behind a giant hotdog. Seeing this totally psyched pachyderm on the side of the road gave me a chance to get out of the conga line of cars and off my hot motorcycle.
……….

House of Doors Muffler Man – Cheshire, Connecticut

House of Doors Muffler Man
One of the last times that I stopped in to see the House of Doors Muffler Man, he was nothing more than a pair of pants standing there. He has since been put back together and is proudly holding his American flag.
……….

Yellow Submarine Oil Tank – Shelter Cove, California

The Yellow Submarine tank was a really nice surprise. When Kenny and I pulled into the parking lot of the Inn at the Lost Coast in Shelter Cove, it was sitting in the front yard. It is painted on all four sides.
……….

Smiley Bouy – Montauk, Long Island

Smiley BouyIt’s hard not to smile when you pass this giant smiley out in Montauk.
……….

How About You?

Did you see any roadside treasures in your travels this year?

These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For

These Aren’t The Droids You’re Looking For

Triumph Tiger on Route 116There are several many people in my life that might argue that I am a weirdness magnet. But, what would that say about them?

Am I really a magnet -or- do you think that just maybe when I am riding my motorcycle I try to be hyper-aware of my surroundings? Strangely enough, I prefer to think that weirdness looks for me. My Gramma used to say that ‘water rises to its own level.’

A few weeks ago, while riding around in Westchester County we passed this charming red building. I think it was once an antique or consignment shop.

Red building in Westchester

Cute, but easily passed by. That is unless something glistens in the sun and catches your eye.

C3PO head in the windowRandom. Just the way I like it 🙂

The Long Shadows Were Calling Me Home

The Long Shadows Were Calling Me Home

When the shadows start getting long, that’s when I start missing home. I continuously walk the line of having the curiosity of a person who likes to wander and one whose heartstrings reel them back home. Those two facets of a life can be hard to manage.

Catskill Park Sign and Speed Triple

I’d wound my way around to the edge of Catskill park. This was where things started to get “familiar”. These were the roads where I cut my teeth riding.

I have to believe that everyone who leaves home finds themselves gripped by moments of loneliness. When you’re standing on the side of the road drinking things in with your eyes and there is no one to turn to and say, Did you see that? or to share an unspoken, knowing glance with – that divide can feel immeasurable. Those moments can feel like an eternity. Being “close” to home made it all that much harder.

Patridge Family Bus - Ashland New York

Gripped by my own sentimental weakness, I began my decent from the atmosphere and started working towards home.

In many ways it felt like a failure that I wasn’t able to work past my suddenly overwhelming homesickness. But, the idea of sleeping in my own bed started to push those clouds away. There was just the pesky matter of already having 450 miles on the seat for the day and a solid 200 more if I wanted to head home the “un-fun” way.

Decisions, decisions…

Long Island Roadside Attractions You’ll Love – Updated for 2020!

Long Island Roadside Attractions You’ll Love – Updated for 2020!

Things to do on Long Island

Visit our Long Island Roadside Attractions!

What are some things to do on Long Island?

Many people know Long Island as home to beautiful beaches, the glamour of the Hamptons, quaint walkable towns, and wonderful wineries.

But we are also home to some famous roadside attractions like the Big Duck of Flanders. Make a stop at this roadside icon and visit the gift shop inside and learn the history of this programmatic architecture icon!

Where is the Big Duck?

The Big Duck is in the town of Flanders, New York.

Street Address: 1012 NY-24, Flanders, NY 11901

Can you go inside the Big Duck?

Yes! The inside of the Big Duck has historical photos and newsclippings as well as duck-related souvenirs.

The Big Duck is open 10-5 with the exception of Saturday, when it closes at 3.

Where is the Flying Pig?

Long Island’s flying pig is in Miller Place.

The Flying Pig Cafe
825 NY-25A
Miller Place, NY 11764

Many people know Long Island as home to beautiful beaches, the glamour of the Hamptons, quaint walkable towns, and wonderful wineries.

But we are also home to some seriously famous roadside attractions. We’ve got an icon that inspired an architectural term. Not to mention one of our roadside giants even had a cameo on an episode of The Sopranos.

So, let’s get this show on the road and explore Long Island and these Instagram-worthy wonders.

Long Island Roadside Attraction List


Long Island Roadside Attractions

The Big Duck of Flanders

The Big Duck - Flanders New York Long Island - Long Island Roadside Attraction Icon!

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Big Duck of Flanders is Long Island’s most recognizable roadside attraction, and one of the most recognizable and enduring examples of programmatic architecture. The term “duck” architecture is a nod to the Island’s beloved Duck.

The Big Duck was built in the early 1930s as an attraction to sell Peking ducks. Constructed with a frame made of wood, wire mesh was then attached and covered in cement. The Duck’s eyes are made from Ford Model-T taillights.

Each year at Christmastime, there is fun ceremonial lighting of the duck.

The inside of the Big Duck has historical photos and news clippings as well as duck-related souvenirs.

The Big Duck is open 10-5 with the exception of Saturday when it closes at 3.

Location:
The Big Duck is in the town of Flanders, New York.
Street Address: 1012 NY-24, Flanders, NY 11901
You can visit the outside of the duck at any time.


Riverhead Raceway’s Muffler Man Indian

Chief Running Fair

Muffler Man Indian Riverhead Long Island Raceway as seen on the Sopranos!

A list of Long Island roadside attractions would not be complete without a hat tip to our mufflerman.

This handsome silent sentry stands on the grounds of the Riverhead Raceway. He is Long Island’s only Muffler Man. Many folks will recognize him from an episode of the Sopranos where Tony walks in front of him at the raceway.

During Superstorm Sandy, Chief running fair was torn in half. The beloved icon was repaired and waves to the crowds once more.

Location: Riverhead Raceway – 1797 Old Country Road, Riverhead, NY


The Flying Pig of Miller Place

A symbol of overcoming impossible odds, this angelic pig takes flight in front of The Flying Pig Cafe in Miller Place.

Location: The Flying Pig Cafe
825 NY-25A Miller Place, NY 11764


Mr. Millennium – The Giant Snowman

Hamptons Giant Snow Man Mr. Millenium - a long island roadside attraction

The smiling snowman is nearly 20 feet tall and stands outside of North Sea Auto Radiator on Sandy Hollow Rd. I totally love his big mittens. They’re so cute! His plaque says he was made in the year 2000 and that his name is Mr. Millenium [sic].

Location: North Sea Auto Radiator-Towing – 25 Sandy Hollow Rd., Southampton, NY 11968


Keith Haring Sculpture – New Hyde Park

Keith Haring Sculpture in New Hyde Park

This untitled Keith Haring sculpture requires a little consideration as it is in the courtyard of a Children’s Hospital. You should probably park and approach on foot.

It is an excellent example of the late artist’s pop-style.

Location:
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York
269-01 76th Avenue – New Hyde Park, NY 11040


Yarnbombed Trees of Stony Brook

There are 5 yarn-bombed trees at the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Talk about Instagram-worthy!

Made up of over 250,000 feet of fabric cord, over 200 people volunteered their time to complete this project.

In 2019, the Long Island Museum welcomed a new yarn-bombed tree!

Location: The Long Island Museum
1200 New York 25A Stony Brook, NY 11790


Giant Corn on the Cob – Calverton

giant corn on the cob roadside attraction

Okay, how much do you love this giant corn on the cob? In the realm of giant roadside vegetables, this one really pops!

See what I did there? …I’ll show myself out.

Location:
Fox Hollow Farms
2287 Sound Ave, Calverton, NY 11933


The Giant Rooftop Hotdog – Gone!

First National Franks Giant Hotdog Medford Long Island NY - GONE!

Update – July 2019

Sadly, the rooftop hotdog is no more. I’m leaving the photo in place as a memorial to its former greatness.

God speed, giant wiener.

Located on top of First National Franks in Medford, the giant rooftop wiener is a winner! You can ride to eat and see something kitschy in one shot. What’s better than that?

Former Location: 3147 Route 112 Medford, NY, 11763


The Pirate House – Miller Place

No doubt the neighbors of the Pirate House in Miller Place must get fed up with the gawkers who stop by for a look.

“The Connor Belle”

The local story that I have heard about this house is that the owner built this temple of pirating for his daughter who had a brain injury. It came in the wake of seeing her happy reaction to the Pirates of the Caribbean ride during a trip to Disney World. I cannot say if that is indeed true; it could just be an urban legend.

The house does have a notary public sign out front. Maybe you can get the scoop from the horse’s mouth while having a document notarized? Hmm…

Location: 9 Woodland Place Miller Place, NY 11764


Double Fiberglass Rooster Fantasy

Bello Poultry Farm in Holbrook has not one but TWO fiberglass roosters on their property. The rooster out front not only pulls a wagon, but has been outfitted to become a fountain.

On our last visit, we found the man out back laying down on the job.

Location: Bello Poultry Farm – 411 Union Ave, Holbrook, NY 11741


Casa Basso Restaurant – Westhampton

Casa Basso Westhampton Pirates
Castle at Casa Basso on Long Island
Musketeer at Casa Basso on Long Island - Roadside attraction

Nothing says delicious Italian food like a stucco castle with 2 Musketeers, a horse, a two-headed snake and a gold lion in the yard. From what I understand the food is actually quite good.  Go for the kitsch, stay for the pasta.

Location: 59 Montauk Highway Westhampton, NY 11977


Home Depot Cemetery – Commack

Commack's parking lot cemetery
Cemetery in Home Depot Parking Lot - Brindley Field - Commack New York

The Home Depot in Commack is now located on what was once a World War I airfield called Brindley Field. Prior to that, it was a farm. 

Today it has an interesting secret “hidden” in plain sight; the Burr Family cemetery plot. As people go shuffling by with their carts full hammers and nails, many do not even realize the tree-lined little square houses a handful of tombstones.

Location: Home Depot 5025 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY


The Giant Bull of Calverton

Long Island Bull Statue Calverton -one many long island roadside attractions

I happened upon this guy while cruising around. He stands inside the pen of a private farm. Between you and me, I like him so much more than the oft-talked about Smithtown bull. In the battle of Long Island’s big bovines? This guy is tops.

Location: Wading River Manor Rd. Calverton, NY


Baby Yoda Cheeseburger Mural – Huntington

This Baby Yoda holding a cheeseburger mural is a stunner! Painted by Andaluz the Artist, who also gave us the Pokemon Wall – you’ll find it on the back-side of Burgerology, facing the municipal parking lot in Huntington.

Location: 308 Main St, Huntington, NY 11743
Google Maps


Atlantic Seafood’s Shark Mouth Door – Center Moriches

Atlantic Seafood Shark Door - Long Island Roadside Attraction

The Shark Mouth door of the Atlantic Seafood restaurant always makes me smile. It’s amazing how many locals don’t know the name of the place and just call it ‘the shark mouth.’ View on flickr

Location: 125 Main St Center Moriches, NY


The Cement Sphinx of Bayport

Cement Sphinx Bayport Long Island New York

A Long Island landmark since 1911.

“She who climbs the Sphinx’s head, a millionaire will surely wed.” Unfortunately, ladies, the sphinx gives mixed messages with its No Climbing sign. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Location: 890 Montauk Hwy, Bayport, NY


Nipper the Dog – Babylon

Nipper Plessers Appliances Babylon - a long island roadside attraction


This 6ft tall fiberglass Nipper the dog stands at the front door of Plesser’s Appliances in the town of Babylon. He’s a town favorite!

Location: 6 E Main St Babylon, New York 11702


Roy Lichtenstein Sculptures: Tokyo Brushstroke I & II – Water Mill

roy lichtenstein tokyo brush stroke sculptures on long island - roadside attraction
roy lichtenstein tokyo brush stroke sculptures on long island - roadside attraction

The Parish Art Museum in Water Mill proudly displays two of the Pop Art giant Roy Lichtenstein‘s painted aluminum sculptures – Tokyo Brushstroke I & II.

You will find the pieces outdoors at the west driveway. They can be respectfully enjoyed even when the museum is closed.

Location: Parish Art Museum – 279 Montauk Hwy, Water Mill, NY 11976


Drew Kane Chameleon Mural – Riverhead

chameleon mural in roverhead new york

Artist Drew Kane’s chameleon mural blends in with the foliage on East Main in Riverhead, New York. The courtyard in front of the First Congregational Church of Riverhead is where it calls home.

Location: Benjamin Place, Riverhead, NY
Google Maps


Yaphank Garage – Yaphank

Long island roadside attraction the yaphank garage - vintage gas shell station

The Yaphank Garage, a former 1930’s Shell Service Station and Garage is a beautifully restored local time capsule. It is one of my favorite Long Island roadside attractions.

The Suffolk County Police Historical Society has restored the Yaphank Garage. Mannequins and display boards tell the story of how a small community service station and its local constable worked together to serve their citizens in the 1930’s and 40’s.

The Yaphank Historical Society

Location: 3 Yaphank Ave, Yaphank, NY 11980
Google Maps


Toothy Fish Mural – Seaford

You can’t help but smile when you see the toothy fish mural outside of this pediatric dentist office.

Location:
Wantagh Seaford Pediatric Dentistry – 3426 Merrick Rd, Seaford, NY 11783
Google Maps


Jaws III Plow Train – Greenport

Jaws the plow train is an oft-photographed site from the town of Greenport. Can you imagine what a sight it must’ve been tearing through snow on the tracks with its ferocious snarl?

Location: Railroad Museum of Long Island – 440 4th St, Greenport, NY 11944
Google Maps


Pokemon Mural – Huntington

Painted by Andaluz the Artist in 2016, the Pokemon wall mural is incredible. Talk about Instagram-worthy!

Location: 231 Broadway, Huntington, NY 11743
Google Maps


Dan Riding a Lobster – Southampton

Roadside Attraction Statue of Dan Riding a Lobster in Southampton, NY

When traveling east on Sunrise Highway, at the corner of Hills Station Road, you will see a curious sight. It’s Dan Rattiner of Dan’s Papers astride a lobster welcoming you to the Hamptons.

Giddyup!

Location: On the Corner of Hills Station Road & Route 27, Southampton, NY
Google Maps


I hope that you’ve found this list helpful and fun. My goal is to create the ultimate list of Long Island Roadside Attractions over time. Keep checking back for new additions!

Well, What are You Waiting For?

You’ve got your list of awesome Long Island roadside attractions. Now it’s time to get to moving.

Your Instagram followers will thank you!

Long Island: Roadside Giant the Mr. Millennium Snowman

Long Island: Roadside Giant the Mr. Millennium Snowman

Okay, everybody. Let’s give a nice warm welcome to Mr. Millennium! “Hiiiiii, Mister Millennium.”

He stands ever-smiling, braving the elements in front of North Sea Auto Radiator. Hmm. Auto radiators… yea, that seems like a likely place for a 20ft snowman.

Mr Millenium Giant Hamptons Snowman

When I pulled over on the shoulder to take his picture, I took my helmet off. I don’t usually do that when I stop for a snap-and-go-photo. After taking the picture  I put my camera away in my tailpack and stood momentarily looking at him in all his dirty snow glory. I heard someone say ‘are you okay?’ in the distance and thought nothing of it. Then it came again, ‘Miss, are you okay?’ I turned, smiled and waved and said I was fine.

Now, I’m left to wonder if seeing my un-helmeted head makes people think there is something wrong with me or he didn’t get why anyone would be looking at the giant snowman. Tough call.

%d bloggers like this: