Monday, March 31, 2008

Worthington/Crossroads..ok, mostly Buca di Beppo

Worthington is a suburb on the northern part of Franklin County straddling southern Delaware County, almost exactly halfway between Westerville and Dublin. High Street..yes..THAT High Street, on the far northern part of the county, is the main drag though it has large intersections with Morse Road, Rt. 161, Worthington Galena Rd., and I-270. It is a quiet suburb settled earlier actually than Columbus itself, in 1803 by New Englanders looking for opportunities westward. While the street layout and architecture only vaguely resemble true New England, many side streets bear names such as Fenway and Lowell. Now Worthington is nice and all but there is a slighhht problem. Worthington has had a long standing city ordinance that PROHIBITS external neon signage! Other areas have limitations..but this is basically, with a few exceptions, a ban on neon! The 'downtown' area of Worthington is bustling with business most any weekend or evening, all without neon lights. Now there are some businesses that appear to be in the city of Worthington but because of the odd jagegd boundaries that cities, towns, and suburbs have around Columbus, they actually are in the city limits of Columbus. Often south of Morse, High Street is the dividing line between the two, with Columbus and neon on the east side of the street, and Worthington and NO neon on the west side. I honestly am not sure when the ordiance was ennacted, but I did find a couple exceptions to the no neon rule. A vingage Dairy Queen sign, outdoor, two-sider which has to date to the mid 1960s at latest. My GUESS is that the neon nazi clause was ennacted sometime after the sign was erected and was grandfathered out it, thereby allowing it to remain standing and lighting up N. High Street near Worthington Galena Rd. Another exception is much more recent, and was for the chain restaurant Buca di Beppo. The chain has opened up a few locations around here about five years ago, including one in neon friendly downtown (Arena district). A little news was made when they chose the locaction then learned of the ordinance. Long story short, an exception was made and I am sure there are some strict rules they have to follow but, at least they have the neon! I have only eaten from this restaurant once, at the Arena location..very good food..very large portions..very hefty bill! All pics were taken late afternoon on Sunday, 3/30. The vintage DQ sign, probably early to mid 1960s, before Worthington made neon signs a capital crime!This small sign is on a Mexican Restaurant in the Crossroads Center, in the northern part of Worthington at the I-270 interchange. There is some neon in this area, but really not much and not much interesting.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another gift

A gift I recieved from my sister for my birthday earlier in the week!I am slowly but surely rebuilding a neon collection. May never be a huge one until I live in my dream house, but one has to start somewhere, right?

Well now that spring is here and hopefully some nicer weather, I hope to get some good photo shoots in, including some on foot on the nicer evenings in the nicer neighborhoods. I was on Grandview Avenue in the afternoon a few weeks back, but had my daughter and was only mid afternoon. A cool comfortable evening with the car parked with me, my camera, and maybe a cup from Stauff's strolling down Grandview Avenue and W. 5th Avenue sounds like a good night to me! I have been going out more this month and I have been able to get a few shots in of the various bars, restaurants, and venues..but nothing extensive. I have a few photos from my phone from inside Nationwide Arena I plan to upload, but hopefully will get some from the surrounding area when I start my downtown shots soon. Think Spring!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Eastland Mall

A few examples of neon inside Eastland Mall. The food court has quite a bit of neon, but is also predictible. If I am there again, I will take more pics from there, but these are a few I noticed when I was there last Friday taking my daughter to see the Easter Bunny. Unfortunately, I only had my phone with me for photos so I apologize for the quality.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Inside a Rooster's Restaurant

Some neon signs in Rooster's, A fun, casual joint, taken a week ago on 3/13. I apologize for the quality, as I was using my cell phone camera.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Brice Road/Reynoldsburg

I took these pictures almost two weeks ago, but just now have had a chance to post. The same night I went to German Village, I shot back down Livingston Avenue to the Brice Road corridor and Reynoldsburg areas to see what I could find. Brice Road is one of the several 'strips' with chain restaurants, big box retail, hotels, floundering strip malls and brownfields. The area is still relatively healthy but several stores in the Target strip have closed, and have been closed for years. The Meijer store which has been there for over 20 years is closing. On the other side of Brice, off Tussing Road, the Consumer Square is there. But not much consuming is going on there. There are a few holdouts such as Burlington Coat factory and Dots, which are always present in dead and dying retail centers. But at night, it is just plain creepy. Think Dawn of the Dead, only outdoors. There is a dead 'mall' by Meijer though, though it was never a mall in the sense of a large mall with anchors. Now Consumer Square once had several retailers which have closed up shop or moved, many to a newer and brighter megastrip a few miles further east on Rt. 256 in western Fairfield County. The first few photos are the Brice Rd. area, and I worked my way north on Brice an onto E. Main street into the center of old Reynoldsburg.
Gyro place, actually on Livingston near Brice.

The Consumer Square sign, visible from I-70 at Brice Rd.

An actual CLOSED sign. More useful I think since many retailers leave the OPEN neon sign on even when they close up shop.

I love signs like this..gotta have a sense of humor when you are selling and fixing vacuum cleaners..
Seven cents won't get you much else these days, but copies here will only set you back seven Abe's.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Livingston Avenue and German Village

With a blizzard forecast for the next couple days, my bowling night rescheduled, and my daughter with her mom for the night, and no set in stone plans for the first time in weeks, I thought what better way to spend this 'calm before the storm' relatively pleasant late winter evening than going 'neoning'. I also, when I have a few spare minutes, enjoy bookstores or the library. Since it was already 8PM, I knew one of my favorite bookstores would be open in one of my favorite areas of the city, German Village just south of downtown Columbus. Narrow brick streets, nooks and crannies..not a lot of neighborhoods in Columbus like this, but it was laid out pre-1900 unlike most of the city. The areas rough borders are Livingston Avenue to the north, High Street to the west, Thurman to the south, and Parsons to the east. When one thinks of German Village though, the main streets are S. 3rd, S. 4th, S. 5th,, Thurman, Jaeger, Mohawk..and several small German named streets. Not really the most neon signed area of the city, but it does have some nice installations and if I were forced to spend the rest of my life in Columbus, this would be my neighborhood of choice. Also included are a few places on S. High Street which are sometimes considered German Village and sometimes the "Brewery district", which extends west of High to the riverfront. The pictures included start far east by Hamilton Rd. through Livingston Avenue and the inner city ghetto, and to German Village.