To walk the streets of East Aurora New York is to step across a threshold into America’s past. A small town with an historic main street, a huge novelty store, a barber shop, charming inns, old style service stations; street after street of sprawling green lawns, white wooden houses, and American flags on almost every porch.
There is an old-style movie theatre with a neon marquee, antique shops, bakeries, the home of Fisher Price toys. On the outskirts of town is the Made In America Store. In fact, the community was one of the first places in America to block the construction of a Walmart.
There is Vidler’s, a sprawling, creaky, crooked-floored 5 and 10 store. You are greeted by room after room of sewing notions, candy from your childhood still sold by the pound, toys, school supplies, and crafts.
If you time your trip right you’ll encounter the old car collector club at their weekly breakfast.
Then there is the Roycroft Inn. It is part of the Roycroft Campus, a collection of buildings and shops from the Arts and Crafts era. But the Inn is the crown jewel. A moody, rambling, celebration of Morris chairs, Tiffany lamps, and oak panelled walls. Stay the night and enjoy residing in a space and time when form and function met in perfect harmony. The food’s good too.
East Aurora is America before the mall and the sprawl. It is a place where people greet you on the street, even if you’re just visiting.