You describe what I call a real NY diner. NY diners are different than diners in other places, most notably by their huge menus and open 24 hours. Those "diners" elsewhere tend to be breakfast/lunch places that close by 3 pm.
Went to Junior's in Mantattan a few weeks ago. Got there 11:30 PM and had a 45 minute wait. Only in NYC.
There are still a few seltzer men in NYC, like Eli Miller: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/nyregion/the-seltzer-man-is-still-bubbly-after-all-these-years.html
They get the seltzer they deliver from Brooklyn Seltzer Boys (http://www.brooklynseltzerboys.com/), who acquired the last remaining seltzer shop, Gomberg Seltzer Works, Inc.
My SO, myself, and a good friend collect diners, A good one is owned and operated by Greeks, open 24/7, serves breakfast 24/7, and extra points if they have grits and/or scrapple on the menu. We've collected a few that also serve egg creams, and use Fox's U-Bet syrup.
I've eaten at Juniors, and they make worthy cheesecake, but aren't the only ones. Most Greek diners have pastry displays and it's a point of pride that they prepare their own. Alas, all are not equal. It all looks wonderful on display, but may not live up to the billing when eaten. It's either first rate or awful, with nothing between, and you don't know till you try. Fortunately, I recall pehaps one "awful" over several years of tests.
That @David, is an egg cream. It's popular in the NYC area but has made it to other areas, particularly those where bagels have long been popular, if you get my drift.
An egg cream as no egg in it. It's basically fizzy chocolate milk. It's also an ice cream soda without the ice cream. The one on my lighted tray was made at home. The glass is from Junior's Restaurant (world's best cheesecake). Junior's has been a mainstay in Brooklyn since 1950. A few years ago, they expanded into "The City," also known as Manhattan, on 45th St in TImes Square/Theatre District. It's a regular stop for me when in NYC.
The trick to making a good egg cream is it have the seltzer enter to glass under pressure, as in one of those old-time squirt bottles. I used to get them delivered to my until about 10 years ago when the last senter supplier in New England went out of business. There might be one or two left in NYC. The botles are still kicking around, look for them on eBay. Also, the chocolate syrum must be from Fox's in Brooklyn. It's available at my local market here in Boston.
When a new deli opened here about a year or so ago, I had to try the egg cream. This one has an interesting twist, adding the pretzel stick. At first I was aghast because it was no longer a pure egg cream, but I like it. The salt and sweet work well together. Click image to enlarge. Mamaleh's makes their own chocolate syrup (the will tell you only of you ask), but they will sell you a bottle of Fox's.
@David wrote what is that dubious looking concotion on your lighted serving tray?
@betajet:It seems to me that most of the target audience for tablets are instead wandering around staring at smart phones, which have more convenient size and weight.
It's all about form factor and use case.
My phone is the smallest, cheapest, least powerful feature phone Samsung makes. All it does is calls and SMS, and that's all I want it to do. Everything else is something else's job. The issue is form factor - most of the "everything else" simply requires a larger screen than a practical phone can have. (And I include the large screen "phablets" in that category. I still need a bigger screen.)
I would be tempted to get a tablet to read technical references, but only if it was large enough to show a letter-sized page. My eyes are too old to look at teeny-tiny screens, and I dislike looking at tech refs on a desktop or laptop screen. So my best alternative is good old hard copy, where I print off the chapters I need so I can relax in a comfy chair or lie down and peruse. Hard copy also has the advantage that I can make notes using an all-points-addressable writing implement.
You can get 10"or so tablets that might be applicable. The issue tends to be file format. Tech refs tend to be PDF, and PDF support on tablets varies. (I can read PDFs on my 7" tablet, but generally don't. Most are not created to reflow to fit the device screen, and sideways scrolling is a pain.)
For fiction, it's hard to beat a good-old paperback.
Actually, it's dead easy. I have a 7" Android tablet with a 1280x800 screen. The primary use case is eBook viewer, using the open source FBReader for Android app as the book viewer. FBReader gets the nod because it handles ePub and Mobi (Kindle format) native, and things like PDF and DjVu via plugins. I prefer ePub, but mostly don't have to care what format a book uses. (FB does not handle content with DRM, but I don't get content with DRM and don't care.)
Fiction is just made for eBooks. It's a linear narrative that adapts well to mobile devices. Before I got a tablet, my book viewer of choice was a Palm PDA with a 320x480 screen, and I could configure it for comfortable reading. I started using it to read technical stuff - docs for software I dealt with as a sysadmin - but moving to fiction was painless.
The advantage to a tablet here is that I can configure it to reproduce pretty much what I'd see on a mass market paperback, but I can (and do) have thousands of books on device. I tell folks the nice thing about eBooks is that you don't call the EMTs if my To Be Read stack topples over on me.
But while fiction is a superb fit for eBooks, non-fiction works fine too. Mist of what I'm reading at the moment is history and sciernce. The tablet supports tables of contents, hyperlinks, footnotes, fonts, and embedded images.
I don't try to put everything on it. I generally don't read PDFs on the device, and there are some really large (tens of megabytes) books that would simply take too long to open on the tablet. I put stuff on the tablet I'm likely to want to read on the go. I carry it everywhere, and can read anytime I have a moment wherever I happen to be, so the amount I read has increased dramatically.
While eBook viewing is the primary use case, I can browse the web, read and reply to email. listen to music, view photos and videos, and handle things like Office files. While I don't generally use it that way, the tablet with an external kayboard can replace a laptop, and occasionally has.
For me, the biggest issue seems to be getting the right combination of charging and adaptor cables. The resulting mess looks unprofessional, while risking being unable to recharge & use external devices at the same time.
USb cameras (think: remote feed from a car rear camera), SDR sticks, USB flash RAM... having a single USB port is a major bottleneck, and the Apple Lightning adapter dance wasn't much better last time I checked.
Then there's the development tools - that rely on a PC [Android SDK, MS Visual studio, etc]. Or the tools that flat-out don't have a tablet version [you want Xilinx Vivado to run on WHAT?]
Add it all up, and the uses for a tablet have been found - making new models redundant. Long term, a laptop is a better bet. [Or at least, a 2-in-1 device. With multiple ports.]