A typical small New England town diner goes on as Wilmington, Vt.'s informal community center after being repaired after devastating flooding by Tropical Storm Irene. Those high carbohydrate and animal-fat breakfasts may not make your body thrive, but your soul and social life get much sustenance.
These diners can be very friendly places but the staff and customers know when to leave people alone, too. Take the Windsor Diner, in Windsor, Vt. The great celebrity recluse J.D. Salinger, who lived just across the river in Cornish, N.H., frequently patronized the place; everyone left him alone.