Thursday, December 20, 2007

Schrock Road

Just posting a few pictures from the Schrock Road area between Ambleside Drive and Sharon Woods Boulevard. All pics were taken the night of Dec. 18.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Test Photo

This is just a test photo using my parents HP Photosmart M517. For the last few months it simply did not work, and after tinkering with it for a few minutes I managed to get it back to good. Yes, it was late morning and yes it was snowing when I shot this simple neon picture.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Easton Part I

Ten years ago, the area that is now Easton Towne Center was old used up farmland near I-270, Morse, and Stelzer Roads. Today it is a hustling, bustling, expensive little town, albeit..fake. Basically this place, along with the Polaris area a few miles north, killed the longtime local favorite Northland Mall. I have never warmed to the idea of a fake city in the middle of suburbia or even ruralia taking the place of a REAL downtown, which, in Columbus, is not doing so hot either, though it is going somewhat better than many other cities. I have been here a few times though because I do like some of their stores, and they DO do a good job decorating for the holidays. Nothing says Christmas to me like 50' trees with LED Christmas lights, $200 jeans, and of course, neon signs. It was kinda late to go inside the mall part of Easton, but I did take a few pics in the actual 'town center' as well as a few places not actually part of Easton but around it. All pics were taken the night of Monday, Dec. 10 with my JVC digital still function.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Neon motion

A short video clip of a couple motion neon signs, done a few weeks ago. I like the music I had on in the car when I did the "sizzle" one. I hope to get a chance to do a short neon photo tour later this week, possibly a smaller set like Reynoldsburg or Gahanna. Next week I am aiming for a start of the High Street corridor and downtown areas.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Whitehall (E. Broad, Yearling Rd.) tour

1. Kroger supermarket, E. Broad/Maplewood
2. US Hair, E. Broad/Maplewood
3. Ange's Pizza, Yearling Rd., Whitehall

4. Duke/Duchess, E. 5th Ave and Yearling Rd. They will card you. Even if you are using a walker, driving a 1957 Caddy and remember World War I.
5. Firestone tire center, E. Broad and Robinwood. Seems all these old places are caled "restone" or "Firest. All three neon signs on this location have some letters out cold.
6. Tattoo parlor, E. Broad and Robinwood, behind Jolly Pirate, which no longer has a neon sign.
7. Quality Stitch. E. Broad in Town and Country shopping center, the oldest surviving strip mall in the USA.
8. Jewelry/Pawn shop, in Town and Country next to US Hair.

Whitehall is admittedly, not the most interesting place in the world as far as neon goes, nor as far as much else goes. Most of the best neon in Whitehall is on E. Main Street (see my previous posts about that area). E. Broad St. , where Town and Country shopping center chugs along after nearly sixty years, has considerably less neon than a decade ago (Where Lowe's now is there was an old fashioned dirty crowded K-Mart complete with large red and blue neon sign). All the pics here were taken the evening of 11/27/07, which was clear and cold..almost perfect for neon photography (anytime of year is nice,but a foggy December night makes neon look extra garish and beautiful at the same time). I hope to get some time in for neon pics between shopping and drinking eggnog over the next month. I am looking forward to the "High Street corridor". Basically from the brewery district (just south of downtown Columbus) up to Worthington is the largest concentration of neon in the city. Starting with the brewery district, through downtown, leading to the Short North which gradually evolves (or devolves, depending how you feel about it) into the OSU campus area which itself is pretty strictly divided into two distinct the more classy and adult oriented Beechwold and old money, to Worthington which is a true suburb, in which, you may mistake it for being somewhere in New England (MAY mistake it). Anyway, enjoy what Whitehall has to offer for now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

North End: Northland, Sharon Woods, Forest Park, etc. tour

1. A mattress/bedding store, Morse Rd. near Sunbury Rd.
2. Transmission repair center, Westerville Rd. near Cleveland Avenue. Did not catch the name. Small garage in densely populated area of inner city Columbus.
3. ABC Liquor, Rt. 161 and Karl Rd. Good selection of liquors, spirits, mixers, and of course, beer. Will be busy with the upcoming holiday season.
4. Boomerangs Bar, 161 and Karl Rd.
5. Same location as photo #1, the mattress/bedding store. Neon makes matresses and box springs quite interesting!
6. Sizzle Marine boating and RV center, Westerville Rd. (3 C Highway) just south of Morse. The sign actually 'sizzles". Video to come soon.
7. Roosters, Rt. 161 and Cleveland Avenue. "A fun, casual joint". Pretty good wings. Try the Super Killers!
8. National Check Cashers, Kathy Run Lane (near Rooster's from above photo). I think if we collected all the neon signs from cash advance stores in Columbus, it would be brighter than Vegas. If you need a quadruple digit interest rate loan, come here. Pay it back in two weeks. Repeat process the next day. I have been trapped by these places, but sometimes, what are you going to do when a car breaks down and the bills still need to be paid and the kids still need food?
9. Debnet beauty supply, Beechcroft Center. Caters to the local African community.
10. Tan Allover, tanning salon in same strip center as beauty supply. Does not cater to African community I believe.
11. Mi Bandera, un mercado mexicano. In same strip center again.
All photos were taken with the digital camcorder still function the night of Sat. 11/24/07. Work was slow so I was able to grab a few photos while working. Bad me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A little more E. Main/other eastside

A few pics left from Tuesday night and a few more I noticed driving through Bexley again on Main on Wednesday night, 11/21/07. White's Pharmacy and Resch's are in an older strip center on Livingston Avenue at Yearling Road. Old fashioned bakery. Old fashioned pharmacy, with lots of regular customers. I can attest that Resch's is good! Anthony's Pizza and Subs is just south of Main at Pleasant Ridge in Bexley. Good pizza at a decent price. Al's Barber Shop, Yearling Rd. just south of Main. He charges $7 per haircut after being $6 for several years. I wonder what he did with the "haircuts $6" sign and if he still has it..hmmm?.. Bexley Optical near Main and Drexel. Cute and well made bright sign. The sugary words on the next sign belong to Anthony Thomas choolates. Several locations around Columbus including a factory/DC on the west side which has special tours and tastings, especially around Christmas and Easter, which are sugary candy coated holidays. Next we have the camel of Camel cigarettes on display at a smoke/tobacco shop at the Town and Country shopping center on E. Broad Street. And a couple stores down is a shoe repair shop, which I highly doubt could repair my two year old worn out black sneakers. Which I wear on rainy days like this one was.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

E. Main Stree/US 40/National Road, Pt. II

The stretch from about Whitehall to Bexley along East Main street has some of the best examples of old suviving neon as well as newer displays. Sadly the older stuff is disappearing constantly and some of the generic "shoppes" (fancy word for strip mall) are incorporating typical dull early 21st century advertising and display technology. The neighborhood shifts from lower-middle class semi-suburbia in Whitehall, seedy and somewhat gritty (though by no means the true inner city ghetto) with drug dealing, petty crime, prostitution, pay by the hour hotels, porn shops, and strip clubs in the James Rd/Eastmoor area, and then, with the blink of an eye, once you hit Bexley around Main and Chelsea the scene shifts to a rerun of "It's a Wonderful Life". All have great examples of old and new neon are some examples:

All of the above pictures were taken 11/20 between Yearling Rd. in Whitehall and College Avenue in Bexley. Some of the signs are obvious as to what message they convey. Most are relatively new, but the motel signs as well as the Mirage sign are remnants of neon's heyday on the US 40 strip, dating to the early 1960s most likely. The signs, as well as the businesses themselves and the neighborhood as a whole, have seen better days, and those better days were MANY days ago. Still glad to see the neon signs hanging around..only a few areas around Columbus can one find such pieces. Party People and the psychic share a building just west of the Bexley/Columbus city line. Rubino's is an older Bexley institution..a small brick building which still bags rather than boxes it's pizzas, and being there is like being transported via time machine to circa 1962. And I have yet to eat their pizza. The note and martini signs are from the Top Steakhouse..those caught my eye. The Panini Grill is next to the Drexel Theater, another old Bexley institution..there are currently two Drexels..the other is in Grandview and also has a cool sign. Greaters..yumm..neat sign. The building was once an old pharmacy until the local chain converted it to a place to give headaches sometime in the 80s I am old. The "ice cream" sign is not Graeters but Cup O Joe, a regional coffeehouse chain location. Interestingly, there is no sign advertising coffee. The next to last (or penultimate, for those who prefer big words) photo is from Swan cleaners.