(on Richmond Ave between Eltingville Boulevard & Wilson Avenue in Eltingville, Staten Island)
Spring is not an easy time for Project Neon. Between my allergies to all the pollens and the dreaded approach of Daylight Savings Time, bane of neon glow, I generally prefer autumn. And now DST is ridiculously early — it starts this Sunday at 2AM! — so I forced myself out into the night after work last night to return to Eltingville and see if I couldn’t catch Delco Drugs’ sign aglow. Two subways, a ferry, and a train later, I did! It’s beautiful!
What you see above is one half of the sign. It sits next to Lenny’s Cleaners & Laundry (which wasn’t open, but the sign was on) and just a few blocks away from the Eltingville Pharmacy, which you may remember from my trip to Staten Island last November when Delco was off, which nearly made me cry. It’s a hassle to get there (about 2 hours minimum, if you time the ferry, train, and subway transfers correctly), but I was so happy I did before DST took Delco away from me (it’s open until 8p on weeknights).
The script is lovely — look at the loops on that D! — and l love that it’s outlined instead of just a single stroke. Makes all the difference, I think.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a straight-on shot of the whole sign (much less the two neon neighbors) because of trees and crosswalk signs and lamp posts, but I stitched three photos together to show you the full Delco Drugs (I wish the words were a little closer together), and here’s the best I could do of Delco with Larry’s together. You can also see the whole sign pretty well from an angle (the photo above is angled, too). You might be able to see that it’s channel lettering and that there’s a bit of red-shift on the right end of Drugs (which I love — kind of like neon’s version of patina), but you probably can’t see that it’s on a wonderful textured chrome background behind the sign.
As I was taking these pictures a fellow & his friend walked up to me and asked me if I liked the sign. Of course I said I did, and he introduced himself as the owner of the store. I didn’t catch his name and he seemed on his way somewhere, but before he left he told me how much he loved the sign and how much care and repair he puts into it. He said the sign (and its neighbor) is about 45 years old, but I think it may be a smidge older (as NYNeon.org says) and he was probably forgetting how far into the 21st century we are, as I always do. At any rate, he headed off and I finished my photos then popped inside to pick up some Advil before heading back up to the train station (conveniently just a block away) and homeward.
Eltingville is lucky to have three really great neon signs on the same street, and a bunch of other nice neon around, too. Now if I can only find another den of neon like this elsewhere on Staten Island. Any tips?
In about an hour I’m leaving for the neon bending workshop at Brooklyn Glass. I’m very excited!