The most frequently seen sign in New York?

Are warnings against loitering the most commonly found (and most likely ignored) signs posted in front of New York City stoops and doorways?

They might be, and they certainly appear to qualify as the most commonly spotted vintage signs, as these examples attest. All over the city, you’re told not to loiter via warn out and antiquated lettering.

The one above is attached to the front of what’s now called Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School at 120 46th Street.

From the 1940s to the 1980s, it was the High School of Performing Arts. The sign looks circa 1955.

Some of the best No Loitering signs further define loitering: parking your butt on the stoop, as this Harlem sign above spells out.

Notice how “menus” has been added to the list of no-nos? That must have happened in the 1980s, when New York was suddenly buried in a blizzard of takeout menus.


The first and last signs really mean business: they hope to keep people moving along by threatening arrest.

I wonder how long this weathered aluminum sign has stood out on an East Village building—and how many people cops arrested for violating the law.

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3 Responses to “The most frequently seen sign in New York?”

  1. T.J. Connick Says:

    If your starting a betting pool, I’ll take this one.

  2. T.J. Connick Says:

    Apologies for sloppy editing: you’re, not your.

  3. wildnewyork Says:

    Ah, that is my favorite New York sign. I once had an apartment with one bolted to the fire escape. It made me feel very connected to the tenants who must have lived there in, oh, 1910 . . . which was about the last time the place had been renovated.

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