Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Clarion my wayward son: Scenes from a Pennsylvania off-ramp







There's a melancholy je ne sais quois to Interstate highway off-ramps. Among the mundane motels, gas stations and McDonald's that populate these places is a sad beauty, a longing for something. Exit 62 off of I-80 in Clarion, Pennsylvania seems typical of the feeling you get driving cross country. It's new but familiar, exciting but boring, beautiful but ugly. You've never been here before, but, yet, you feel you have. And those really, really tall signs put up to be seen from the highway have a scary surreal quality up close. Are these the signs future hipsters will be nostalgically longing for fifty years from now or are they just mundane road markers waiting to be replaced? Only time will tell.

2 comments:

Rick said...

I've often wondered the same thing...

gainesville365 said...

I vote for mundane road marker, because there is no artistry to the signage. Also, keep in mind that fifty years ago most people traveled by car, forcing motels/hotels to creatively differentiate, especially as an independent. Today, many people fly right over these signs.

This looks a lot like Valdosta.