Jackson Hole Airline Diner
(Astoria Blvd btwn Hazen & 70th Streets)
Aha! Yes! Two people guessed correctly — Heather (by comment) & juliadantchev (with a reblog comment). I *think* Heather was first, but I’m not positive. I’d also like to say thanks to Ben K. for reminding me that I hadn’t yet gotten here.
Jackson Hole is a local chain of burger joints, and this particular location was, in a past life, the Airline Diner. The name makes sense when you realize how close it is to LaGuardia — just off the Grand Central Parkway a few blocks away. The older part of the sign with the green airplane (alas, not in 100% full glow) blends right in with the airplanes overhead.
Not all the neon was in full glow when I was there, but most of it was operational. The Greek key pattern around the fascia of the diner in blue with yellow highlights is lovely and dinery, the animation (if you can’t see it above look here) on one sign features tiny airplanes while the other alternates green and pink for DINER. So great! And the Jackson Hole part of the sign isn’t bad either (if a bit incongruous). I like that there’s a period after Jackson Hole. For some reason punctuation in a neon sign always makes me happy.
I can’t say the burger was anything to write home about. It was, as advertised, big and greasy. Not a lot of flavor though. I think next time I come (and I’d like to get some better photos), I’ll stick with diner classics like milkshakes and grilled cheese sandwiches.
The interior, by the way, is as beautiful as the exterior. All kinds of great details from pillowed stainless steel to an ancient Just Born case (sadly bereft of peeps, though it did contain other candy).
The other Jackson Hole Diner location in Queens also has some neon (though not as great as this), so I’ll hit it up sometime, too.
(7th Avenue South btwn Grove & Bleecker Streets)
Casa Oliveira is a swell wine & liquor shop in the West Village. It was a bit of an old home week to stop by there last night, since I used to work nearby and would pop in whenever I needed some booze. I made the trip back, as I have a bunch of cherries at home and, together with the new cherry pitter I picked up at the Brooklyn Kitchen, I’m all ready to make brandied cherries (and maybe cherry ice cream with a hint of brandy as well?), except for an utter lack of brandy at Project Neon headquarters.
I was so very happy to see the sign not just in working order (last time I was there the Casa Olivera was out), but brighter than ever. I love this sign not only for the animation (“Liquors” alternates with “Fine Wines”), for the sidewalk sign with the great address number (also shown above), but also for the lovely patina of the red and white painted backdrop of the swing sign and the enameled backdrop of the facade sign. So beautiful. I do wish the sidewalk sign had outlined instead of single-stroke letters, but that’s a quibble. The overall effect, especially when the sign is as bright as it was last night, is splendid. (If you can’t see the animation, click the box below.)
The people at Casa Oliveira have always been gracious and helpful, too. It’s a small shop, but I’ve always found what I wanted.
It was nice to see a sign in working order, especially after hearing about the remnants of Jade Mountain (the iconic Chow Mein sign has been removed, and part of the remains of the channel letters crushed) and finding that Morscher’s Pork Store in Ridgewood has replaced their wonderful neon with a tacky plastic sign. I am really heartbroken about both of those. But happily there are still places like Casa Oliveira, who are willing to maintain beautiful signs like this one.