Sunday, January 10, 2016


A late addition to December's "Lights Out 2015" post: dial CNN for Columbus Circle Neon No-more.  This recent feature over at the Shorpy blog reminded me that CNN's big neon spectacular over Columbus Circle vanished over the summer of 2015, as reported by the Daily News and Crain's New York.  

CNN has left its perch at Columbus Circle after 10 years. (T. Rinaldi)

Its replacement is a giant flatscreen jumbotron-type thing of the variety that have displaced most of the neon from Times Square in recent years. Though the CNN sign was only ten years old, it was descended from a series of roof signs that held down this perch for generations.  Its soulless replacement seems to mark the coup de grace in the desecration of the art deco skyscraper below.   


 ProjectNeon reports that Riverside Liquors (previously profiled with this post) has been forced to take down its venerable neon sign, an Upper West Side survivor for more than 60 years.

(T. Rinaldi)

 Check out the work of John Baeder, chronicler of neon signs, whose book "John Baeder's Road Well Taken" came out late in 2015.
 In West Chelsea, be sure to stop by and admire the neon art of Deborah Kass at the Paul Kasmin Gallery (through Jan 23 2015).
 An oldie but a goodie: enjoy this 2010 tribute to the neon of New York's Capital District, from the All Over Albany blog (thanks to Rob Yasinsac for bringing this to my attention). 
 If you haven't yet, listen in on the 99% Invisible podcast's recent "Tube Benders" episode.
 A project to preserve the historic neon of Boise, Idaho.
 Black Seed, a new cafe, has opened in the former DiRobertis Pasticceria space on First Ave in the East Village. 
 Meanwhile, Jeremiah's Vanishing New York reports that the real DiRobertis' has actually been reborn, in Clifton, NJ.

(Stuart Gewirtzman)

 And finally, one of Long Island's most spectacular neon storefronts has gone dark with the closing of Rockville Center's venerable Palace of Wong late last year. 

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