Posts Tagged ‘neon signs’

Gorgeous neon signs illuminating the West Village

June 27, 2014

On this warm June evening, some old-school neon eye candy is called for. Neon is at its most enchanting at twilight, isn’t it?

Each of these signs have lit up the sky on the other side of Seventh Avenue South for decades—even if the establishments they advertise are a trendy parody of the bar and restaurants they they once were.


The Beatrice Inn opened in 1924 on West 12th Street. But it’s trended up these days and is no longer the comfortable if unspectacular neighborhood Italian place it had been. “Old Village ambience” wrote Cue magazine in 1975.


Almost a century old, the Fedora, on West Fourth Street, was also recently revamped from a longtime local gay bar to a cocktails and cutting-edge menu kind of place.


Arthur’s has been a venue for live music since 1937. The vertical Arthur’s sign is wonderful but doesn’t light up anymore, unfortunately.


Infamously known as the no-slices place, John’s has been serving meals (originally on Sullivan Street) since 1929—the year of the stock market crash.

This place is one of the few reminders that Bleecker Street was once a thriving Little Italy neighborhood, not an imitation of one.


Manhattan store signs that explode with color

September 12, 2013

Blue, green, red, yellow, pink—a walk down an old-school city street bathes you in bursting color and light. It makes New York feel magical.


Just looking at the Veniero’s Pasticceria sign (119 years on East 11th Street!) kicks in a cannoli craving.

Pasticceria is a beautiful, lyrical word, no?


Russ & Daughters Appetizers, on East Houston, is a feast for the eyes inside as well.

This slightly derelict clothing-store sign on Orchard Street doesn’t pop with color, but the light blue and red on the left are the kinds of 1960s kitschy hues you rarely see anymore.


The High Style Shirt Company is long-gone; an art gallery moved into the space and uncovered the vintage signage. Luckily they kept it up!


The Clover Delicatessen glows in emerald and pink on Second Avenue at 34th Street. It’s been around since the 1940s.

The hand-painted store signs of the Bowery

September 6, 2012

Neon signs bursting with color are New York icons. But there’s another type of signage that deserves recognition: the hand-painted kind.

Some of the best examples can be found along the Bowery. But they may not be there for long, considering the rapid boutique-ization of Manhattan’s oldest street.

Globe Slicers has been selling kitchen gear since President Truman was in office, and the sign seems to have served them well, and the mismatched lettering gives it a real DIY feel.

Max Maged & Sons, another restaurant supplier, is just south of Grand Street. I love the mix of print and cursive.

National Cash Registers, at 159 Bowery, has neon signage in its window. But this swinging sign with the stenciled-in letters has old-school appeal.

The vintage store signs of the far East Side

January 18, 2012

Some of those Manhattan neighborhoods lining the East River—Turtle Bay, Kips Bay, East Midtown—are kind of in a store sign time warp.

Seems like First, Second, and Third Avenues have more old-school signage than trendier blocks closer to Midtown or in other areas.

This is far from a complaint though. Seeing a decent number of vintage signs still hanging on is so charming, like this one with “Corby” in 1960s-style cursive. It’s on First Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets.

The Sutton Place Frame Shop is another example, on First Avenue and 55th Street. It’s such a posh name for a no-frills kind of establishment.

Farther south on Second Avenue and 34th Street is Kips Bay Optical, with this lovely sign laid it on script as well.