Author: Helen Cox

Helen Cox is a UK author. She made her on-screen debut in The Krankies in 1990. Given the choice, her Mastermind topic would be Grease 2 and when someone asks her if she is a god she says 'yes.' Oh, you want to know about her books? Best click some of the links below.

NYC Diner Tour: Westway Diner, 9th Ave


An extract from my travel journal: November 2nd, 2015

The Westway Diner on 9th Avenue, just north of 43rd Street, is a neat oblong decked out in shades of rhubarb and custard. The lighting fixtures look 1970s by design. Large, circular bulbs, the colour of terracotta and mustard, suspended from the ceiling tiles. Liquor bottles and upturned Martini glasses are stacked behind the cash register, and all the staff wear black.

Faux leather booths promenade down the centre of the restaurant. They’re filled with families and friendship groups who laugh, and tell stories about their day-to-day lives.

I sit in the corner on a table for one near a man who mutters show tune lyrics to himself.


Though Halloween came and went three days ago, spiders still dangle from the ceiling and the spooky drawings graffitied across the front window in the spirit of All Hallows Eve have yet to be washed away. Such is the American enthusiasm for the holidays.

There’s a pleasant buzz in the air but this isn’t a tourist extravaganza like Ellen’s on Broadway. Here, locals loll about, chomping on omelettes and pancakes. Dressed in tracksuits and sneakers; jeans and sports T-Shirts.


One older man in a baseball hat and lightweight anorak joins another. The fella already sitting at the table doesn’t even look up to acknowledge his companion. He waves his hand, holding it up, while his eyes and his pen stay fixed on his paper. The guy in the anorak starts talking but still his friend doesn’t raise his head. He offers only the occasional side-ways glance to make it clear he’s listening even if he is, at the same time, scratching the side of his jaw over some headline in the news.

A band of off-duty cops enter the diner. They order fried breakfasts while Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell plays out in the background.

This extract is part of the travel journal I kept whilst I was out in America researching my first novel: Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner. Further extracts and photographs that capture the atmosphere of diners around New York City will be posted in the coming weeks.


2 comments on “NYC Diner Tour: Westway Diner, 9th Ave

  1. Kevin
    April 27, 2016

    Great diner, one of my favorites. A nice escape from the Times Square fare.

    They used to have a specialty milkshake called the Avocado Shake. Vanilla ice cream and avocados. Delicious!

    It’s not on the menu anymore, but you can ask for it.


    • Helen
      April 27, 2016

      Wow. That’s an amazing insider tip. And it’s about milkshakes! Can’t get better than that.


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This entry was posted on April 22, 2016 by in Author Blog and tagged , , , , , , .
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