Friday, December 4, 2009

Kosher pork? And a trip to the dentist

So it appears a former Jewish bakery is now home to a....bbq place? On James Road, just north of Broad on the east side. And yesterday I took my daughter to the dentist and two pieces of good news: My daughter has ZERO cavities. And they have an uber cool neon sign. It is inside the office and would look great in their street level windows (yep, it's in the basement of a medical building). I already caught Dr. Martinez' window sign over a year ago, but this would be a very cool addition. The BBQ pics were taken the night of Tue. 12/1 and the tooth on Thu. 12/3.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Yes, I've been lazy..two new tours though!

Yes, I am aware, I have been lazy about this lately. Well, not really lazy. Have had some personal issues come up over the last month or two. Too bad, too, because I missed out on my favorite season for neoning. But winter can be fine too..that's why God invented coats! The second anniversary of this project quietly passed earlier this month. The second year has not been as fruitful as the first, but with all that has gone on, including near fatal illnesses, breakups, financial woes, I still consider it a good year. Added at least another 100-200 photos and new neighborhoods. The third year will have some new material, finally some road trips, and revisits. It is amazing how much an urban landscape can change in such a short period, especially when it comes to commercial signage. It's as if I have tracked the entire recession through neon signs. So many businesses, especially small ones, have closed up shop since I started this blog, it is sad. I'm definitely hoping the next year is a better year for all. I'm counting the days til New Year's Eve, so that as this year limps to the finish line, a new decade, a new era welcomes us all.

So I ended the month of November and the season with a couple small tours. Included are a small section of cool neon along Sinclair Road on the north end, and a small but cool cache of neon in the Roberts/Rome-Hilliard area. A few strip malls with ethnic shops that embrace neon! For December I hope to get at least one new tour in, a few revisits/missing links, and maybe 1-2 estalishment specifics. And like last year, I am on the hunt for holiday neon! SOMEONE has to have a neon Santa or Christmas tree around somewhere! All pics in the two shoots, my first photos of the third year of this blog, were taken the evening of Sun. 11/29.

SINCLAIR ROAD (between Morse and Lincoln):


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sequoia Pro Bowl/a newbie on Morse

Yes, it sure has been a while. Fall is now here and I should be on track to start getting in some good neoning. Last month was hard to find time, energy, and automobile related issues certainly didn't help that. So in the last week I did get to take a few photos. I hope to get an actual tour in very soon..possibly the long awaited neighborhoods I have yet to cover like the Campus Gateway or Grove The market' picture at Morse and Cleveland Avenues was taken the night of Mon. 10/5 and the two pics inside Sequoia Pro Bowl the night of Tue. 10/6. Sequoia is a nice bowling center! I haven't bowled since before my hospitalization and hope to get practicing soon, with the goal of a short "Warm up" half season league starting in January, followed by a summer league, then back into it for real in the fall of 2010. Sequoia (the exterior signage was covered in one of my first tours almost TWO years ago now!) is the only PBA stop now in Columbus, they usually are here in late February or early March. That lounge is really nice too btw! And they have Keno!

A small "ethnic" market in a strip center near Cleveland Avenue and Morse Rd. This business appears to cater to local immigrant communities, mostly Mexican and Somalian (this side of town has large populations of both these nationalities).

The 7-10 Sports Bar & Grill inside Sequoia Pro Bowl in the Forest Park neighborhood on the north end of Columbus.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

E. Broad corridor new/forgotten/missing links

I have covered E. Broad extensively, at least from about Reynoldsburg to the far west side (so yeah, most of E. Broad in the Columbus area), but a stretch from Bexley to near downtown had a few stragglers which I do not have images of from previous photo tours. So after work earlier this week I took a short drive of E. Broad from Bexley to home, essentially downtown. All photos were taken the night of Monday 8/24.

Bexley Centres sign, near E. Broad and Harding. A small strip center in Bexley, I have photos taken of a few of the businesses in this center from a previous tour.

Apple Vacations neon sign, at a travel agency in another small strip center next to the Bexley Centres, at E. Broad and Broadleigh.

The Old Bag of Nails pub, actually on N. Nelson Rd. at E. Broad at the edge of Bexley, by the railroad bridge. Looks like some cool neon inside since their remodel..will have to check it out inside for an establishment specific photo tour/cold beer.

An attorney's office at E. Broad and S. 18th Streets, just east of downtown. Pretty cool sign. Lawyers are not really known for their use of neon signage to advertise their practices.

Coming soon: summer phone dump..the lazy days of summer neoning mostly taken with my rather low quality camera phone..always a pain in the butt because I have to send a text/picture message to my email since my phone doesn't have peripherals to just upload images onto my PC..but I have a few images taken over the summer, mostly in August, that I need to post. Also, with fall approaching, the campus gateway and short north should be alive with neon again soon..two long awaited areas I have yet to cover! Watch for those soon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Indianola revisit/Fitzwilly's Irish Pub

Since I have had a few car related issues, I have been driving home via the surface street of Indanola Avenue instead of I-71 the last few nights. I covered the area a little less than a year ago, but there were a few spots I didn't get for whatever reason, or maybe a few new additions since then. I don't use this stretch of Indianola too often so maybe a few things have changed. I also captured the little neon that adorns Fitzwilly's Irish Pub at the 161 and Karl strip center, next to After Hours Sports Bar, which I have already covered. The Indianola redux pics were taken the evening of 8/10 and the Fitzwilly's last night, 8/11.

Sorry about the quality of the "light bulb". This is the City of Columbus electric complex, and it was hard to get very close to the entrance of this building..looked like some security guards were watching me as I stopped the car with the emergency flashers on Indianola and walked up a grassy knoll and got as close as I could. Plus I didn't have a better camera on me, just the phone. I will probably be back for a retake for flickr maybe.

The neon of Fitzwilly's Irish Pub. Definitely stop in for a drink and see the lovely and beautiful Tracie who tends bar there most Tuesday nights!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dead abandoned bowling alley

This short photo shoot comprised of three of my lifelong interests: bowling, abandoned/decaying buildings, and neon signs. Mr. Bills was a longtime favorite bowling center located in the Northern Lights shopping area from the 1950s til the early 2000s. Almost directly across the street was another bowling center, Amos Lanes. Amos Lanes closed I believe around 2001 or 2002, leaving only Mr. Bills and it's cool animated neon entrance sign. Sadly, not too long after Amos' closure, Mr. Bills suffered a fire which caused extensive, if not irreparable damage to the interior. So Mr Bills decided to move to the now vacant Amos Lanes building across the street. Though I believe it has had a formal name change in the last couple years, locals still refer to even the new center as "Mr. Bills". A foot note to the bowling alley, when Mr. Bills purchased the still intact but closed center across the street after the fire, there were rumors going around from other bowling centers management and from local pros, that once the renovations to the new center were complete, that they were going to install a few candlepin lanes to go along with the traditional tenpin. This was like a dream come true for me, but unfortunately, they were either just rumors or the ownership chickened out. Either way, I would love for the idea to be revived. I grew up in New England and bowled only candlepin until coming to Ohio, and while I love tenpin, I miss candles and always bowl a few strings (games) when I am back east. A lifelong dream of mine is to own a candlepin/duckpin/tenpin center. With the recent sad closure of AMF Main Lanes, I saw if anyone has a few million dollars they could loan me, let's bring candlepin out of it's New England hiding place! All pics were taken a few weeks ago (were taken on my camera phone, so don't expect much in way of quality), on the afternoon of Sat. 7/4.

I know, I know, the second sign ( B O W L )is not actually neon. But it is a great sign nonetheless. And it would have been SO much nicer if the overhead wires were not there, but oh well, that's life.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two long awaited S. High missing links

I wish these two businesses would keep their neon on after dark, but now having lived close to this area for almost a year, I am resigned to the fact they close up shop and turn the lights out early. Even during fall and winter the signs seem to be off anytime after dark. Now in summer it is unlikely I will catch the signs at night, so I snapped a couple pics on a mostly cloudy mid afternoon. If I ever do have a camera on me, have the time, and I see them lit up while dark, they are going for retakes. Both pics were taken Tue. 6/16.

Bluegrass Music Supply, near S. High and Moler. Love the semi-amateur neon work! Awesome!

Dr. Jenkins Chiropractic office. This sign would look absolutely wonderful at night. Unfortunately the shadows don't do this great sign justice. Maybe one day the doc will keep some late office hours and while he fixes spines, I will get a better image of his sign.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Kroger on Parsons Avenue

Living in German Village, but spending a lot of time on the east and north sides, I have a wide variety of grocery shopping options. I like my share of Trader Joe when I am in that area (Easton or Dublin..and would be nice to have a store in German Village or downtown, but that's a pipe dream for now). I go to Aldi for many of the basics, rather than pay for other store's advertising. For the 'regular' stores, I definitely prefer the Brewer's Gate Kroger..definitely the nicest plain old Kroger store in the area. The Giant Eagle (a former Big Bear location) on Whittier is maybe a few feet closer to me than the Kroger, but the G.E. is so small. Nothing wrong with it, just smaller selection and higher prices, but possibly fresher lobster. On occasion, I venture over to the "other" side of German/Merion Village, Parsons Avenue. I have done neon photo tours of the area, but only recently did I go inside the Kroger at the corner of Moler. WOW! It is a time capsule from the 1990s. While I am sure somewhere there are grocery stores, even chain stores like Kroger, that may not have been extensively remodeled since the stone age days of the 70s and 80s, I have noticed that MOST older stores have been given a 21st century makeover, and that the newest ones have that same toned down but pleasant look of the 2000s. The Kroger on E. Broad in Town and Country was recently remodeled, but they kept their entrance neon (there is a pic way back at the beginning of the blog). The Parsons is still in full 90s goodness. In the early to mid 1990s, grocers and other retail establishments started using neon extensively IN the stores (while sadly, taking down their classic outdoor neon signs and replacing them with cheaper alternatives). The neon is really nothing breathtakingly exciting is neon, and nice to see some still around. Big Bear also went through a neon phase in the 90s, in what would ultimately be their last new look before death. The Neil Avenue Giant Eagle of course, reflects that era. The following pics were taken the morning of Mon. 6/1. With my phone, so quality is not as great. But I wasn't kicked out by some arbitrary manager!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

North End missing links and newcomers/SR 161

Commercial strips like State Route 161 (called E. Dublin-Granville Road in the northland area of Columbus) is like most retail oriented areas, prone to constant retail change via closures, takeovers, openings, and anything else that is part of the normal business cycle in the retail industry. This road is lined with the sorts of businesses liable to quick openings, even quicker disappearances, and property owner/tenant turnover. Restaurants, small ethnic shops and markets, used car lots, etc. So I am always on the lookout for new neon, changed neon, as well as sadly, newly dark neon. Here are a few examples of some neon that has changed, added, or been relit, or otherwise missed during previous tours of the area. I work in this area so I am able to get to the area fairly regularly. All pics taken the night of Fri. 5/29.

Johnny Oak's BBQ, now Shrimp Shack and Pizza, next to Lane Carryout, between Maple Canyon and Beechcroft Roads. This sort of inexpensive faux southern food has become quite popular around Columbus. Gotta try it sometime. This is probably one of the newer more interesting signs in this area, only having appeared in the last month or so. Gotta love a business who still believes in investing in neon!!!!

Accent neon adorning the corners of the Sharon Woods Center, a small strip center that dates probably to sometime in the 1970s.

Interesting that this place has electricity flowing through it. This nightclub, site of the former seafood Shells restaurant, has not been open for years, and was dark for a LONG time. Shells closed in early 2001 I believe and a nightclub went in not long after, but it was not open long and it's long been closed. Maybe new owners have taken over and have plans??

This medical office, which appears to specialize in hair restoration, seems be run out of an actual residence, in this small house tucked behind some trees off a service road at 161 and Ponderosa, near Northland Plaza. Trust me..I may need to pay them a visit soon!!!

Whiskey Dick's bar, on an outparcel of Columbus Square at 161 and Forrest Hills Blvd, across from Northland Plaza. Awesome super atomic hot wings here. So hot, you need to sign a waiver upon ordering them. I've had them..delish!