Often, diners have walls filled with regional trinkets, souvenirs, and photos signed by national or local celebrities. Diners collect the small moments in your life—your old friends visiting town, your neighbors having breakfast, your friends after that wild night—and put them on display like gold medals. Individually, these everyday moments lack context, but together, they represent a much greater concept: at the diner, everyone is family.
Selena’s Diner has a history and a family all its own. Decades ago, the old dining car was transported from New Jersey up the meandering hills of Route 23A, over Kaaterskill Falls, to its current location just outside Tannersville. The diner is technically named “Nick and Selena’s Diner” after the owner and his daughter (coincidentally cousins of our friends at the Village Diner in Saugerties!).
The manager, Amanda, greets you with a snarky-yet-charming hello. As she serves you breakfast, she talks about the town and its people and asks you about yourself. You realize that her duty is not only to serve great food, but also to offer free therapy to everyone in town—and you’ve talked so long that it’s now lunchtime.
This turns out to be a blessing in disguise, because they also serve pizza. Amanda convinces you to order “The Selena,” which is loaded with chicken, bacon, cheddar cheese, and dollops of fresh ricotta.
As you say goodbye, you turn toward the photos on the wall, and you know that it’s okay to leave. People may come and go, but the memories remain preserved.