(On 5th Avenue between 85th & 86th Streets in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn)
I have pinkeye. This is a little ironic because I’m not really a big fan of the color pink in general—I guess I’m not much of a girly girl. Pink is warm and flattering and sweet, but it’s just not me. I find, however, that I do love pink neon signs. I even love red and pink neon together (I mean, look at the Project Neon logo!), which is a pretty much abhorrent color combination in most other contexts. Possibly all other contexts.
I mention the pinkeye not just as an excuse to discuss color in general or the colors of neon in particular (though I will happily do either all day), but to explain why I’m cheating a bit here. I am not really up to venturing out into the sleet right now to visit any neon, so I’m going to tell you the story of a recent visit to Hinsch’s instead. Consider this a warm-up post, OK?
Hinsch’s Confectionary is mostly a diner, though they do have ice cream and home-made candy. I feel I must warn you that the food is not really worth the pilgrimage, especially if you, like me, go when the R train isn’t running. It’s way the hell out there in Bay Ridge. But it does have a couple of fantastic neon signs which are worth the trek.
The best sign you can see above—it just says, “Hinsch” in classic pink neon. No possessive, just the name in beautiful script with extra strokes to fill in the wider spots, immense and glowing. The “Luncheon” and “Hand Made Candy” in the window seem like mere afterthoughts, lost in the glow of Hinch, though they are nice, too. I find neon is never as impressive in windows like that as it is when it has a dark background to show off the glow.
The vertical sign up above the storefront would also be fantastic, but more than half of it is burned out. Man, I hope they fix it. The whole thing up and running must be a sight to see.
Since I travelled so far, I stopped in for French fries and a coffee milkshake. There weren’t a lot of people there, but it was a very chatty spot. First a guy on his way out admired my Alaska curling sweater at length (it is pretty cool) and then the fellow behind the counter who made my milkshake asked me if I like to take pictures, why on earth I would take pictures of their neon sign, and explained that he also likes to take pictures. All of this took a lot of gesticulating as my Spanish is pretty limited and his English was, too, but it was nice to chat with a fellow photogropile. An excellent visit to a classic New York spot with a classic neon sign.
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