Money quote: “‘The thing about this democratic counter is that anyone can go in and sit down. It can be a professor, it can be a worker,’ says Richard Gutman, author of American Diner Then and Now.
“‘A friend of mine in Pennsylvania ate in a diner and he’s in the middle of two guys. One is the chief of police and the other is just some character. The policeman looks over and says, “Didn’t I arrest you last year?” and the guy says, “Yes you did – pass the ketchup.”‘“
I love a diner. In Bangkok, we were infused with Americana, from GIs on R&R taking part in the family visit programme through to the US TV shows — Mannix and Get Smart —we’d watch on a Saturday afternoon, so it’s hardly surprising. My current favourite diner? Nick’s Café on North Spring Street, LA —
— grab a stool for a cuppa joe, and order a plate of their home-cured ham and eggs over-easy, and drink in the atmosphere. This place has barely changed in 60 years. You can feel the ghosts on the stools beside you. And you might meet the chief of police too!