Wednesday, December 24, 2008

For only a few hundred bucks I can have the real thing of this! Is there really not a Santa?? Anyway, Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Year End Clearance

In probably one of my more random posts, I have included several pics that are on my card. All sorts of places, things..whatever is neon-related on my camera, I need to take off so I can make room for the upcoming Christmas pictures. Mostly missing links, but a few extra thingies I found interesting. I may not do another tour until after the new year, but I will try. I am also searching of course for that elusive holiday themed neon sign. Cummon' Santa..come through for me!!!All pics have been taken during the last week or so.

A few missing links from the south side, near Thurman and Lockbourne roads.

Go Bucks! Found this on a window of a house near Summit and 15th Avenues, just east of the OSU campus!

A couple that have went dark it appears. The "Chatterbox" is very much open for business, near the intersection of Parsons and Whittier. What a shame the sign seems to have went dark! Hopefully they will get this back up and running. A lot of dark and ghost neon (oh yes, we will get to 'ghost neon' soon) on the urban south side. The 'carryout' sign, however, will likely stay dark until it is dead and buried. The business, on Ann Street just north of Whittier, seems to have went up in flames. The wreckage stands as of today, most likely what is left will be torn down in short order, along with this vintage sign.

In the window of the Chatterbox. I love these simple old-fashioned beer signs. Pabst was my grandmother's beer, I remember her drinking it when I was a kid 25 years ago. I had never really had PBR until I would say about 4-5 years ago when suddenly a new generation of twenty-somethings made the old brew a cool, hip beer to drink. It's student friendly price probably had a lot to do with it (probably the same reason why my grandmother drank it back in the 70s and 80s). Now it has regained popularity with people of all ages, mostly within Generations X and Y.

It may not count as holiday neon, but neon surrounded by traditional Christmas lights is always pretty. The simple Budweiser sign encircled by a wreath just makes me wanna drink a tall draft beer and spread the Christmas cheer. This can be found at a small neighborhood bar near Town and Country, in Whitehall. The "open" sign was taken at the Alum Creek Marina restaurant building in southern Delaware County. We were there last week for the Fantasy of Lights, and my daughter got to sit on Santa's lap. While none of the lights are neon, unfortunately, the drive-through display is amazing! Definitely puts one in the holiday spirit!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The gift that keeps on giving..

Missing links! With the turnover rate of neon pretty high these days due to several factors, it is not hard to find pieces which I have either overlooked, simpply forgot about, was not in a position to take the photograph, or simply didn't exist the first go around. An actual tour or establishment specific set may be coming up soon. For now, enjoy these missing links from downtown and the Clintonville areas. Also, a sneak peak preview of an area not yet covered. Unlike with Santa, peaking is occasionally permitted here!
I am also thinking of doing a holiday neon show of some sort, like a slideshow, perhaps? Actual neon holiday decorations are a rare find, but who knows..I am always on the hunt, so to speak. The photos for this post were taken on Wednesday, Sunday and Monday, 12/10, 12/14-12/15.

The Garden Inn, located on the north end by Cleveland Avenue and I-270.

A copy/fax place on Gay Street, in downtown Columbus.

Christine's Flowers, on N. 3rd Street in downtown Columbus. There is a similarly colored sign inside; when the weather is warmer I hope to snap a better pic of these. Closes so early though it is rarely still on by the time I am off work, and the heavy traffic makes taking pics from the car difficult.

How did I miss this back when I was doing the Clintonville tour, and even my previous revisit last month? What an awesome sign, even if not all of it is lit.

A preview of the short north! Columbus' version of Las Vegas as far as neon goes. Until the campus Gateway came along..I hope to finally cover this area soon. I would have last night, but my battery was low. That and I didn't want to park my 'sleigh' with Santa's sack on High Street.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Franklinton is a racially mixed, mostly working class neighborhood just west of downtown Columbus. Once you have crossed the Broad Street bridge heading westbound from downtown, you are in Franklinton. The area's boundaries are roughly from the Scioto River downtown to the area near W. Broad and I-70, and from about Sullivant Avenue north to about McKinley Avenues and the 'twin rivers' area. The Sullivant Avenue corridor though is usually considered a somewhat separate neighborhood, commonly referred to as "The Bottoms" (for several reasons, usually having to do with both the low elevation of the area do I put this nicely..the character of the neighborhood). I concentrated on W. Broad Street for this short photo tour, and Sullivant and other westside locales will be covered in future tours. This is the oldest neighborhood in the city. Actually, it was the first permanent settlement by European Americans in central Ohio, having been settled in 1797. Cleveland and Cincinnati had already been around a while, and the area is downright new when compared to the likes of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, which had pretty much seen their 150th anniversaries already. But for central Ohioan purposes, it's old. As the eighteenth turned to the nineteenth century, the territory called Ohio entered the new nation as a state and villages, towns, and cities started to spring up all over the state. Franklinton was pretty much the definition of 'remote outpost' around the first decade or so of the 1800s when other communities relatively closeby (meaning only halfday on horse) got their start, such as Delaware, Worthington and Reynoldsburg. There was still no "Columbus", and the capital of the state moved back and forth between Chilicothe and Zanesville, many miles away. Ohio politicians at the time wanted to settle the capital city debate by choosing a new state capital city, preferably more centrally located than the previous two capitals. Franklinton was already there, so why not Franklinton? Easy..Franklinton flooded every time there was a drop or more of rain. They did notice, while in Franklinton, that across the river was a patch of woody land that didn't seem to flood quite the same way Franklinton did. After bids from several other cities and towns, the area just east of the Scioto River was chosen and what is now Columbus started to be laid out. The founding fathers of Ohio thought they were being original with the choice of name. Of course about 15 other municipalities around the USA thought they were being unique as well. So what if Franklinton had gotten the nod to be capital? Maybe people around the country would know the largest city and capital of Ohio as just "Franklinton" instead of Columbus, OHIO. Who knows. Now Franklinton is just a neighborhood of Columbus. Anyway, there is some good neon in the area. Some almost prototype examples of urban neon, as street furniture/decor/advertisement, can be found in Franklinton. Combine leaving work slightly earlier than normal, with a quiet and cold Sunday night, and you get a short but sweet photo tour. All photos taken the evening of Sunday, 12/7.

The Spaghetti Warehouse, in a large former warehouse. This is part of a small chain of Spaghetti Warehouses, having been in this Columbus location on W. Broad probably 25 years or so. There is an actual train car INSIDE the building, which actually has seating. Good food, but somewhat pricey especially for dinner. A special occasion sorta place.

The Florentine, another Italian restaurant. More old world style than the Warehouse. Like TAT I believe this has been a family owned restaurant for years. A beautiful old school sign lights West Broad. I have the feeling I could have seen the same scene over W. Broad 30 or 40 years ago. I have never eaten here, but have always admired their neon sign!

Nothing wrong with a little phonetic spelling, but I hope they don't actually do this on people's skin! Cool neon work on this inner city shop, which usez their skillz and doez tattooz.

For catering from Milo's, call this number. A warm cup of cappuccino would have been nice on this freezing cold December night, perfect for neoning!

Another tattoo shop on W. Broad. Tattoo shops of course have some of the best installations of neon signage to advertise their art. While both are beautiful forms of art, I would not want a neon sign glass blower doing a tat and vice versa! Wonder if anyone has gotten neon skin ink? Would be pretty cool!

Harley Davidson dealership and souvenir store. I swear I have seen that sign before in a bar somewhere.

Ride the waves at a crowded dirty laundromat in Franklinton. I detest laundromats..unless they have some cool neon in or on the premises. And a cheap Coke machine. Nah, I'll drink big K cola and buy a washer and dryer. I hate laundromats! Glad I have a washer and dryer down about 11 stairs. And my neon beer sign is down there too!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Two missing link GEMS

Yep..two gems in different geographic areas..caught within about 14 hours of each other! The 5th Avenue Floral Company of the top installations in the city. And remember a few weeks back when I was thinking that the Little Palace overhead sign went dark..well guess what!? I guess they only turn it on during business hours. Explains why it is rarely on when it is dark. This morning was cloudyt and dark enough to enjoy it..and it's also a mover. I taped some animation, which I will post soon. The 5th Avenue floral sign was taken the evening of Wed. 12/3. The Little Palace sign was taken the morning of Thu. 12/4.

The 5th Ave Floral Company, contrary to their name, is not on 5th Avenue, but a mile or two north, at the corner of Kinnear and Kenny Roads. I knew the sign was there, and was glad to have a little time to take it, a red light right in front of the building helped!

The Little Palace Restaurant does light their sign up. I am not sure when the sign dates, but I am guessing before 1970. Anyone notice the mistake on the sign? Point it out and you win a prize!!!

Main/270 Interchange

This area is a busy, mostly commercial area on the east side of town between Whitehall and Reynoldsburg. Since I-270 is an outerbelt, it actually intersects many roads twice, including US 40, which on the east side is E. Main (it is W. Broad Street on the far west side..270 has two Broad/270 interchanges). Nothing fancy here, since most of this development is from the 70's and 80's, and chains abound. Still snapped a few shots in the area, since they really didn't fit the Whitehall/Bexley Main street corridor, nor Reynoldsburg. All pics taken the evening of Wed. 12/3.

I especially like the dual OPEN/CLOSED sign hanging in the window of City Barbeque.

The actual Main 270 Center. A typical 1970s strip mall. Seems to be doing ok now, but was a ghost town just a few years ago. Outback being here helps, along with a large appliance store. This sign seems refurbished too. The neon was barely visible at night and the time/temp section had most bulbs out. That part was taken down. Glad to see the sign looking good!

"Take Away"..Australian for "to go".

Friday, November 28, 2008

North High/Clintonville Revisit

Keeping with the recent 'missing link' theme, I drove through Clintonville on N. High Street to see what I may have missed when I covered the area earlier this year. All pis taken the night of Friday, 11/21.

A FEW MORE MISSING LINKS FROM OTHER AREAS: The "sun" and "open" signs are in the Maple Canyon/Rt.161 area on the north end. The "cards" is from the Beer/Wine store on S. 3rd Street in German Village. Taken 11/21 and the "cards" photo taken 11/24 :

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


While most modern outlets do not, some McDonald's embrace their neon past. The 17th avenue location has speedy. The Morse Rd. location has their frontage signage all in neon. And this location on S. High Street near I-270 on the far south side has a little interior neon:

Also, I wanted to see if the Jesus Saves sign at Faith Mission on E. Long St. is lit at night. Surprise! I had been by that building before many times and never seen it lit, except in old pictures.

All pics taken Mon. 11/17. Yes, it was cold and it did snow last night. Good day for foggy neon images!