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US Route 20 - Massachusetts


Latham is an hamlet in Upstate New York, north of Albany, along U.S. Route 9. It is located in the Town of Colonie. The terrain is mostly a hilly mix of deciduous and evergreen trees, with some ponds creeks and swamps. The place was named after "Latham's Corners", an intersection near the reknowned "Fannie's restaurant".

Of special interest is the elegant war memorial by the "Score" Tennis Courts, as well as the majestic blue clay cliffs behind Shaker High School. Visitors will also be titilated by the fairytale world of Hoffman's Playland, featuring a tiny train, the "Parachute" ride, and a perplexing caterpillar ride that circles endlessly and features disturbing horns children can toot. The Playland is part of the larger Hoffman's complex which includes an old-fashioned ice cream and soda fountain, a minature golf brickworld and strangely enough, a carwash.

Near Latham's Corners is the Traffic Circle of Latham, a modern roundabout , thrilling and difficult to navigate. Trees were once planted within the center of the roundabout, which plunges sharply down to an underpass, but the trees quickly withered and died, a striking metaphor for the stress of the circle. The general mandala shape of the Latham Traffic Circle possibly brings a sense of peace to those who master it.

Fans of vintage signs will delight in the Roxy Cleaners fifties neon glow. Those who are not afraid to stray into the world of the erotic will find what they want in Latham's Micro-redlight district: once known as The Silver Dollar, a burlesque has modernized and become Night Moves. To the right once stood a Strawberris Record Store next door but now sits a discount cigarette shop, leading some to speculate on whether Latham's golden years are on the wane. To the left of the red light district lies the Latham Meat Market, ironically enough!

Latham, NY is considered the home of the first really dapper indoor shopping mall. The Latham Circle Mall still exists, though it does not thrive ever since the amazingly colossal and stupendous Crossgates Mall opened in nearby Guilderland. The Boston Store, Caldor, K.B Toy & Hobby, and even McDonald's (as well as countless others) all eventually ran screaming out of the location, rendering Latham Circle Mall basically just a large CVS pharmacy with several mom & pop-style specialty goods stores and novelty shops. It remains as the area's best one-stop shopping ground for cinnamin buns, cowboy hats, magazines, toiletries, Samurai swords, and a myriad last-minute, low-budget, preposterous gift items. The mall is nestled under the bossom of the giant red and white-checkered Latham water towers, which serve as a beacon of stagnancy to the area's many sad men and women.

No mention of the mall is complete without a note about the nearby Kunker Ave area. A steep hill that strikes fear into the hearts of those who drive a standard, Kunker Ave has always been a tricky road to navigate. Patrons of Bruce's Glamour Chalet will attest to its hazardous icy ways in winter. At the base of this roller skater's dream hill once stood a Mcdonald's. It was a beloved fixture of the area, surviving from the red-floor-tiles-and-black-tables age of McDonald's to the rennovated tan look of the eighties. Pleasant representations of such chracters as theHamburglar and Mayor Mc Cheese stood tall in those days on the walls. But one day it was lost, and in its place was erected an ugly Boston Market. The Hoffman's car wash branch next door is all that remains of the "good old days" of Kunker Ave. Even the Kentucky Fried Chicken is now lost to flames. The Long John Silver's employees across the street would savor the irony of the place that subjected thousands of chickens to fire being burned down itself if it was still there. Cingular has taken over the culinary pirate's building.

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