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Frank Barry

Graffiti and Grace Notes on the Lincoln Highway

Writer Frank Barry is crossing the country in a Winnebago to find the spirit of America. This week’s destinations: Trenton and Philadelphia.

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Graffiti & Grace on The Lincoln Highway

Waking up in a parking lot for the first time is a little jarring. But peering out the Winnebago’s window and seeing a line of shoppers outside Trader Joe’s brings a sense of normalcy, even with people keeping their distance from one another. It’s morning in America, amid mourning in America.

Driving the Lincoln Highway south to Trenton, we pass JoJo’s Steak House — “Famous for Cheesesteaks & Hoagies Since 1950,” the sign still reads — boarded up and abandoned for the better part of the decade, after Joseph “JoJo” Giorgianni pleaded guilty to paying an $8,000 bribe to former mayor Tony Mack in JoJo’s back room. It was all part of a sting concocted by FBI agents claiming to want to build a parking garage downtown, though there was no shortage of parking when we drove through the city’s quiet streets.