(in the West Village on W 4th St btwn Charles & W 10th Streets)
Project Neon is all about celebrating the great stuff we’ve got (and other people have the history stuff covered better than I could), but I hope you can allow me one moment of fond recollection for Fedora. If you’re not in the mood for nostalgia, I understand—I’ll see you back here next week!
The Fedora sign still presides over the block of West Fourth Street between Charles Street and West Tenth Street (ah, the confounding geography of the West Village!) and there is still a restaurant & bar called Fedora there (which some people quite like), but it is worlds away from the affable, affordable, inimitable place that came before. Kudos to the new owners, though, for replacing the old sign with a very similar one (the new one is pictured here). That does make me happy.
The old sign had better colors (pink & green! classic!), but the new sign maintains the quirky shape and curved-A lettering. It’s a simple sign, but welcoming and particular—what a neon sign should be.
I have to confess that I can’t bring myself to try the new Fedora. It looked too… too, if you know what I mean, when I stopped by to take the picture above. Uncharacteristically, I think I’d rather keep my memories of the old Fedora intact than give the new place a shot. Maybe that’s a sign of getting old. I know the city changes (that’s what keeps it alive) and countless great new things open all the time, but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to let go of the past.
I only went to Fedora a few times (one of my great regrets), but I don’t think I’ve ever felt more welcome anywhere ever. I wrote a brief post about my last visit that you can read at Catasterist. Wow, I’m tearing up a little just thinking about it. Fedora was, as I said, nothing fancy but everything special. Here’s to the memories!