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.

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