I’m feeling a little cabin-feverish as the next winter precipitation event (snow or rain?) heads this way, so let’s head afield with this photo from Milkwaukee, circa 2009. Alas, I can’t find the name of the motel (this was before I began Project Neon, so wasn’t always as meticulous about recording the names of neoned businesses). Do you know what it is? I think it was on the south side of the city, near the airport on 41 or 94 before they merge. There were some nice hand-painted signs as well.
This neon is simple, but I like it. The clean lines of the gable set off the unchanneled glow nicely, and it has all the warmth a weary traveler could hope for.
I wish I could take some neon road trips soon, but I don’t really trust myself to drive at the moment with my muscle cramps, migraines, and occasional vertigo. Plus I’m still tired a lot, so I’m not sure how much fun a lot of driving would be. For now I’ll just keep looking through my travel photos and enjoying the glow closer to home.
Do you know the name of this mysterious Milwaukee motel?
I finally made it with my camera to visit to beautifully restored neon at The Long Island Bar on Atlantic Avenue (I’ve been repeatedly foiled by the never ending snowstorms, among other things). I was feeling more Hopper than Toulouse-Lautrec, so I contented myself with peering in the windows rather than joining the animated crowd inside, but the interior looks almost as lovely as the exterior (you can read a review of the bar — it’s not a restaurant at all despite the sign — in The New Yorker). Of course the particular charm of the original is gone, but the glow, inside and out, is as bright as ever.
The Long Island Bar sits near the BQE on the south side of Atlantic Avenue at Henry Street, so technically is in Cobble Hill, I guess, though I’ve always thought of it as part of Brooklyn Heights. Whichever neighborhood it’s in, I’ll definitely go back sometime soon when it’s not a busy Saturday night and I’m not feeling so solitary. Still, though, the neon’s a treat, and I salute the new owners for bringing back the pink & green glow. You can read all about the ace restoration job by Let There Be Neon on the New York Neon blog.
One of the things I especially love about this sign is that on the Atlantic Avenue side Long Island is spelled out (in lovely script — I’ve always been partial to this style of cursive letter “I”), and on the Henry Street side it’s just LI:
It’s such a clever way of dealing with uneven facade lengths and emphasizing the primary facade without neglecting the side. As I’ve said before I’m a fan of pink & green in neon (though not so much elsewhere), and I always love the combination of script and block letters, especially when the block letters are as elegant as this with curve-topped As and drop-waisted Es. Add in the wonderful rotated column for BAR and some stainless steel, and it’s all pretty perfect.
While there I couldn’t help revisiting Montero down the street. I’ve written about it before, so I won’t sing its praises again, but it’s another sign I really, really love. (For more of the history that connects the two bars, read this article from 2006 in the New York Times.) If we could just get a couple more similarly spectacular neon signs on this stretch of Atlantic (and maybe tone down the floodlights at the gas station across from the Long Island Restaurant), it could be a real neon delight.
In Tremont, the Bronx on East Tremont Avenue at Park Avenue
Oh man, I am SO behind on Project Neon. Thanks for your patience! First of all, December 3rd was Project Neon’s birthday. Happy belated birthday, Project Neon! Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling up to any neon visits, but I hope to head out soon. I need some neon glow to get through these loooong winter nights.
In other neon news, congratulations to Erin S. for winning the Project Neon giveaway! I’ll be sending out your 2014 neon calendar this week!
Over on the New York Neon blog, a sad tradition: the list of neon signs we lost in the last year.
A slight change of operating procedure here — I’m going to start posting links, news, etc. (like the above) to the Project Neon Facebook page, rather than here on the blog, just to simplify things on my end.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Frank’s, but isn’t the neon wonderful? It lights up that corner of Tremont Avenue like gangbusters. More views over on Flickr.