(On First Avenue @ 66th Street in the Upper East Side)
Oh, the nostalgia! This is the very first sign I ever photographed for Project Neon, way back in December. And, in a bit of a cheat, I’m using one of those photos now as I ducked in here at lunch when it is not generally dark. And don’t give me a hard time about a lunch-time neon visit—did I tell you about my terrible 11 days of grand jury duty? I realize I didn’t post last week, so backdate this post, and I’ll put up the next one
in a moment (once I thawed out I realized I was too tired—I’ll post it tomorrow).
The sign here is fantastic. And it’s bright enough to be still pretty cool during the day. The shop is on a corner, so there are signs on each street side. The font is an awesome squared off but still curvy thing, and the colors are neon red (veering toward pink in some letters—I love that) and cyan. The one exception to the squared-off lettering is the autograph-like “Goldberger’s” with one of those mid-century Gs I could never pull off (though I tried like crazy in the fourth grade).
The shop itself is a great as the sign. Like a lot of these old pharmacies (and as you might guess from its prominence in the sign), drugs, specifically prescription drugs (though they also have a lot of supplements and health-food store type stuff), seem to be the mainstay of this shop. They certainly occupy most of the interior square footage. Despite that, though, I found plenty of useful other things—I ended up buying only the Kleenex I came in for, but I’ll be back for blister bandages, the small hair bands I can’t find anywhere else, ear plugs, and more. And the pharmacist who rang me up (sporting a crisp white lab coat) was really nice despite the fact I wasn’t buying much. So nice to know I can give Duane Reade a miss next time I need cough drops.
Afterwards I dashed over to East Side Brick Oven Pizza, which the always awesome Slice Harvester had recommended as a not terrible slice. Also, it has a neon sign. Unfortunately the neon sign is crap—it’s backed with horrible shiny metallic stuff that looks like the pelt of a Mylar balloon. You’d think that shiny stuff behind neon would make for awesome glow and reflections, wouldn’t you? Well, you’d be wrong. It looks horrible. I couldn’t bring myself to take a picture of it, so you’ll have to go see it in person if you’re curious. The slice is, however, decent, which is about as much as you can hope for in the UES.
PS: It turns out Manganaro’s probably isn’t going away.
PPS: It looks like Gonzalez y Gonzalez is gone with a Chipotle to take over the space. I didn’t love the place, but I did love the neon out front. I’m sad Project Neon will never be able to pay them a visit. If Chipotle keeps the neon, I will buy, like, four burritos. And a coke. Pleeeeease?