It turns out that Nicholson Baker finds creative inspiration in highway rest stops, or at least in the chains that dominate them in the Northeast corridor. “I’m always happy when I see the green Friendly’s topiary sign on the Mass Pike,” he writes to Slate, explaining that Friendly’s, Panera Bread and Starbucks are the places where he has spent hours rewriting his books. Because America’s corporate food establishments are the ideal environments for drafting a book like House of Holes.
Here’s what he says about Friendly’s:
I usually have breakfast, or a cheeseburger, cole slaw, and coffee—but this time, remembering old traditions, I had a cheeseburger club, which isn’t on the current menu—or maybe I was looking in the wrong place. “We can do that for you,” the waitress said. In the sixties and seventies Friendly’s mostly served its cheeseburgers on toast, not on buns—the toast is what made them so good.
Follow Emily Witt via RSS.