December 13, 2009

Arthur’s Paradise Diner

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I must have driven past Arthur’s Paradise Diner hundreds, if not thousands of times in my life. It is located on Bridge Street in Lowell, MA, where I grew up.

So why Arthur’s? After shooting at the Pacific Mill Diner, I decided to seek out other diners and other similarly challenging interiors to photograph and improve my HDR work. In this area, there is no loss for subject matter: Four Sisters’ Owl Diner, Club Diner, and The Trolley in Lowell and of course, the ultimate dive, Lawton’s Hot Dogs at Canal and Broadway in Lawrence, MA.  I hope to hit about one a week on the way to work or on the weekends. We’ll see where it goes.

Back to Arthur’s. I walked in with a big honking camera and unwieldy tripod and asked the cook if he would mind if I photograph the diner. He was happy to oblige. I was lucky in that there were no customers at the time. I was able to set up quickly and bang off a series of shots from a couple of angles.

In talking to the cook, I discovered that the previous owner operated the diner for several decades with his wife. After his wife passed away, about 8 years ago, Arthur sold the place … “Too many memories.” Arthur’s son wanted to buy it and convert the diner to a pizza place. Arthur would have no part of it.

The current owner offered to buy it and run it as a diner … no changes. Deal Done.

Their specialty is still the “Boott Mill Sandwich” which, as far as I can tell is a full breakfast on toast, bacon, eggs and home fries between two slices of bread. Nice.

Its also very inexpensive. I promised the cook I’d give the diner a sample image to thank the for their hospitality. Maybe I’ll try the Boot Mill Sandwich when I deliver the print.

This image is an HDR rendering of 9 separate exposures.

  • ISO 400
  • f 22
  • Shutterspeed range from 1/25 to 10 seconds

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  1. Just saw a link to this photo on RoadsideOnline- wonderful shot! I admire your confidence in being able to walk in with a “big honkin camera” and ask to shoot- sometimes I’m afraid I’m going to get yelled at when I pull out my little point-n-shoot!
    I’ll have to check out Arthur’s for Retro Roadmap!
    Not sure if you’ll have better luck than me in getting an interior photo, but Danas’ in Lowell has got a wonderful old time soda fountain/counter interior.

  2. Pingback: The Owl Diner, Lowell, MA « Lussier Photography

  3. I frequented the Paradise Diner many times as a student at Lowell High School., 1947-1950. Every school day and some Saturdays I walked across the bridge from Centreville and there was the Diner.
    This is where I experienced Coffee going from 5 cents to 10 cents a cup and they threw in a Donut to ease the pain. Great memories.

  4. Just finished off a Boott/Bacon! Wow; a meal to last the day. Been in TX for the past ten years (note to diner lovers everywhere – stay away from TX; they don’t know diners from dinero). Since I’ve been back, I’ve been making the rounds in Worcester; The Boulevard Diner hasn’t changed since I was in college in Worm-town 40 years ago! And Lowell. Your pics are great. As is your choice on content!

  5. I’ve inquired about this before and am still interested in purchasing. How would I go about this? I think I would like a canvas print.

    Thanks so much!!