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A roadside emporium | by Fray Bentos
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A roadside emporium

I suppose it might be said that the formative, effective part of America's existence began just as the motor age commenced. Thus the nation's infrastructure was established from first principles on the premise that most people travelled about by car most of the time. So the major traffic arteries are lined with these "outlets", each with its illuminated sign at the roadside and its lavish provision of parking space. One need walk no further than once in each direction across the parking lot. But I love it. No, seriously. I'm not saying that I'd want it transplanted to other parts of the world, but I adore the visually interesting margin of tat that lines every American highway. It's a characteristic "look" that has no precise equivalent elsewhere. This cigar emporium, alongside the eight-lane spinal highway of Ocean City, Maryland, was no longer in business. An engaging little building though, which looked as though it might have derived from some late-century "system" for the construction of houses.

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Taken on June 3, 2012