Coronary and traffic congestion


Photo copyright BOBBY BAKER, who travels New England in search of memorable shots.

This one, of a joint in gritty downtown Worcester, is very evocative to me. Friends and I used to stop there on road trips to Vermont and fill up on food that the American Heart Association would urge us all to avoid whenever possible. It is utter junk, but delicious. The confused and congested traffic circulation of downtown Worcester, "New England's Pittsburgh,'' was a frustration that was difficult to avoid but Coney Island made it considerably more tolerable.

From Worcester, we'd proceed northwest through assorted villages and mill towns, some of which looked little changed (except for the cars) from photos taken 100 years ago. If a year or more had elapsed since our last trip through the areas, we'd notice that some big wooden store or old stagecoach hotel on a common had burned down in the interval.