Monday, November 10, 2014

Neon News & Links

After a bit of a hiatus here, I was all set to make a big come-back, until I managed to wipe out the post I had drafted with one ill-placed tap of my index finger.  Gone - poof.  So, while I go back to the drawing board on that, here are some links and news items, quite a few, in fact, both good and not so good.


 On the Brooklyn waterfront, the Domino Sugar sign is coming down (as of early November 2014).  The sign is slated to re-appear once the former sugar plant re-emerges from its transformation to luxury condos, but whether this will actually happen remains to be seen. 

The Domino Sugar sign before its removal, from the Williamsburg Bridge.  (T. Rinaldi)

 Also in Brooklyn, some especially fantastic old neon was recently unearthed during a storefront remodeling on 86th Street in Bay Ridge, only to disappear soon after.  Photo via Rolando Pujol, who reports that the sign has since vanished; whether it was removed or simply signed-over again is unclear.  The sign was the work of the late, great LaSalle Sign Corp of Brooklyn.

"Hot Bagels" made a brief re-appearance on 86th Street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Rolando Pujol / Instagram

• Neon's troubled state of affairs: a status check in the NYU Local, by Peter Slattery. 

 My next Neon Walking Tour of the East Village will take place on Thursday, December 11.  TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE via the Municipal Art Society at this link - bundle up and let's take a walk!

 If you've already taken my East Village neon walking tour and still want more, good news!  I will be leading a Neon Walking Tour of the *West* Village later on this winter.  Stay tuned for details!

RIP: Smith's Bar & Restaurant.  (T. Rinaldi)

 As reported here and elsewhere, Smith's Bar near Times Square shuttered just before Halloween.  No word from the owners on the fate of its spectacular 60-year old neon signs, which have graced the corner of 44th and 8th since 1954.  See write-ups on Smith's closure at the Times and at Project Neon.

 The Terminal Bar, a one-time contemporary of Smith's just down 8th Avenue, is memorialized in a great new book by Sheldon and Stefan Nadelman.  (See also this New York Neon write-up on the Terminal Bar from back in 2012 here.)

 Vanished:  the Hude's Delicatessen sign that re-appeared on Broadway this summer has disappeared.

Hudes Broadway Delicatessen. (T. Rinaldi)

 On Times Square, the Times Square Visitors Center has permanently closed.  The Visitors Center was housed in the beautiful restored auditorium of the former Embassy Theatre and featured some pretty great relics from Times Square's neon past. (News via ScoutingNY.)

Peep O-Rama sign, formerly displayed at the now-closed Times Square Visitors Center.  (T. Rinaldi)

 San Francisco Neon, a great new book by Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan paying tribute to San Francisco's superb array of old neon storefront signs, is due out in December!  Pick up your copy here

• Some neon (and other) ghost signs hanging around NYC, via Ephemeral New York.

• Out in Denver, Colorado, a movement to preserve the Sid King's Crazy Horse Bar sign.  

• Via Vanishing New York, lots of vanished New York Neon in a gorgeous portfolio of scenes from 1970s and 80s NYC by photographer Carl Burton.