(on Nassau Avenue at Guernsey Street, in North Williamsburg/Greenpoint)
Soundtrack: Okkervil River’s “He Passes Number Thirty-three”
Hello there, neonistas, some newses for you, rather than a neon visit today (hopefully I’ll get one in later this week once the rain stops its raining):
* I walked by Old Town Bar earlier this week, and the sign was in dismal condition — flickery, dim, and choked by some new scaffolding. I very much hope this is a temporary condition.
* Murray’s Sturgeon, alas, reports that their sign is likely to be hidden by scaffolding (which they have no control over) for some time to come. I really want to get a good picture of this great sign…
* A nice little round up of cool neon things, including, ahem, a small mention of this very blog over at Imprint.
* A fascinating look at an American footnote to the early history of neon sign development from The Atlantic.
* I was going to keep this secret a little longer, but maybe you’d like to know that I’m working on a collection of longer essays, each one centered around a particular New York neon sign or two. They’re likely to be a bit rambling (duh, it’s me we’re talking about), but will be about the urbanism, design, and various civic things I think about when I’m walking around the city on neon hunting expeditions. Also about bars, Coney Island, and small shops in the age of mega-word-infinity-chains. And neon! And New York. And lots of other things. I imagine I’ll self-publish this somehow or other with a lot of photos (unless someone wants to hook me up with a publisher?), but we’ll see what happens. Who knows how long it will take, but I’ll keep you updated on progress. I apologize if this cuts a bit into posting here, but there are, of course, only so many hours in the day. Suggestions for good places to write that are quietish and don’t mind lingerers are encouraged! (The first chapter is about Dublin House — here’s to the regular who bought me Guinnesses last time I was there. You are supporting the arts, sir!)
* Photos from New York City in 1971, over on Retronaut, including some great neon signs. A very important year, because it is the year of my birth. Yes, I am that old!
* Gonna try out a monthly neon group post, beginning next week, if anyone’s interested. So get your best neon photo ready to share! You will have to have a Tumblr account (I’ll be trying out the photo reply feature), but hey — they’re free, so why not?
* This is not neon related, but news from another project I was a part of: the Hypothetical Development Organization is going to be part of the Venice Architectural Biennale! I am so honored to have a part, however small, in that august architectural shindig. (I made two huge drawings for the project, though I’m not sure what the actual installation will look like.) Wish I could jet off to Venice to see it. It’s especially pleasing as I’ve been feeling glum lately about the diminishing possibilities for me in the field, but that’s a real resume builder, eh? The New York Times’ 6th Floor Blog has a brief write-up.