Are we there yet? A vintage roadside pitstop


Roadside sandwich shop. Ponchatoula, Louisiana by Walker Evans
8"x10" ($35) | 11"x14" ($75) | 16"x20" ($260) | 20"x24" ($650)

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In the spirit of savoring these last few weeks of summer, we’re strapping in for a good old fashioned road trip ℅ American photographer Walker Evans. First stop: SNACKS. Shot in 1936, Roadside sandwich shop. Ponchatoula, Louisiana encapsulates the #1 principle of a primo pitstop: variety. This shop’s got it all. 

Pluck a bunch from the behemoth bundles of bananas framing the counter. Snag an ice cold Coca-Cola, perfect for this southern summer heat. A dozen oysters? Why not. How ‘bout a heaping basket of freshly stacked apples? Finish it off with a few scoops of Blue Bird ice cream for the backseat crew. Oh! And throw in a sammie for the road—almost forgot why we stopped in the first place.

From mid 1935 to early 1937, Evans worked for the historical unit of the Farm Security Administration to create a photographic survey of rural America during the Great Depression. Best known for his captivating large format images of the American vernacular, Evans produced an image that ignites a longing for traditional, rustic Americana, and the perfectly imperfect. In Roadside sandwich shop. Ponchatoula, Louisiana we see the once ubiquitous foodstand that used to dominate American highways, where purveyors of local produce and odds and ends would set up shop. In the earlier part of the 1900s, Ponchatoula was one of just two ways to get to New Orleans by land, earning the nickname “Gateway to New Orleans”. Prime real estate for roadside refreshments. Nearly a century later, Evans' iconic image remains a wanderlust-inducing window into road trips of yesteryear.

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