RIP Harold’s Pharmacy neon
(on Macdonald Ave @ Avenue U in Gravesend, Brooklyn)
This is one of those days when I seriously consider just finally ending this project. I started the project to celebrate New York’s neon, but I feel like now I’m just mourning the losses.
The New York Neon blog has broken the sad news that Harold’s neon will glow no more in Gravesend. (The blog also had a great post recently about the history of the sign.) I’m extra sad because this is another great sign I don’t have the best pictures of (it’s a tricky corner, a long sign, and some letters were out when last I visited.)
Harold’s is still in business, and the neon tubes are encased behind the new LED sign, but it’s no longer a special corner worth a visit. *sigh* I have nothing against LED lights for some uses and nothing against Helvetica (which despite its overuse is still a well-designed font), but this is a real loss of something special, something unique, and something beautiful that was free and open to anyone passing by to see. I understand that shop owners can’t or don’t want to spend the money for maintaining neon — I wish we could somehow help subsidize this. Heaven knows my pockets aren’t deep, but I’d sure kick in a few bucks to help keep the unique signs of NYC glowing.
One small spot of good neon news, though, from Gothamist, who report that the rumors of Arthur’s Tavern’s death are greatly exaggerated. I hope it does outlive us all!
(On First Avenue @ 66th Street in the Upper East Side)
I’ve already written about Goldberger’s Pharmacy, but those of you who have been following along since the beginning may recognize that this is the first neon photo I posted to the Project Neon Flickr set, exactly two years ago today. Yep, it’s Project Neon’s 2nd birthday. Goldberger’s (together with the Cork & Bottle) was the original inspiration for Project Neon on a dark December night two years ago. Those weren’t the first neon signs I’d photographed, but they were the first signs in New York City, and so began this project.
I’d like to thank all of you who have been following along, everyone who supported the Kickstarter project, and all the shopkeepers and neon repairers and sign makers who make the city nights brighter. Without all of you Project Neon never would have happened.