This was just a one-day trip but I got loads of good photos. I got a little night-neon shooting in on Friday & Saturday night before zipping home. Nik’s eye pressure checked out fine. We’ll be back in three months for another $48 15-second test. More outrageous prices: the cost of gas here is now $4.20 a gallon — for the cheap stuff!
Let’s start with a couple shots from Friday night. Here’s Al’s Bar in San Gabriel:
From Santa Monica:
Stalling for the vet appointment Saturday morning — time for some signs from nearby Los Angeles:
Here are a few other signs I’ve passed dozens of times near the vet’s office but never shot. These beer mugs must have been mass-produced. There was another one just like it in Daggett, CA (gone now):
I’m betting all three of these signs were installed at different times. The bigger sign appears to be the oldest with those Art Deco style corners. It surely had neon and a far nicer paint job originally:
Another oldie with nice jiggity edges — and a great freestanding arrow. I’ve got a Flickr group for these neon “extensions” that you might enjoy perusing:
Although it’s been repainted countless times, you can still make out the “ripple tin” panels that were used to build it. [clicking on photos at my blog makes them bigger] As Paddy Rowell of Flexlume Signs explained to me awhile back, the crimping was not just a decorative thing. The sign maker could use a lighter metal since the crimping strengthened it. Paint also stuck to the crimped panels better than flat ones.
A sun-bleached oldie from Gardena:
The non-sunny side shows the colors better:
A fun sign on the side of the building. Missing some plastic but those neon notes are incredible, no?
Also in Gardena — Majestic Lighting. This crown is wonderfully curved and I think the M might be (or was) backlit. How appropriate for a lighting place!
It’s hard to work around these towering palm trees in California sometimes! The Don is in Wilmington:
The Maya Shoe Repair is in Santa Monica:
More signs in the wonderful storefront. The interior is incredibly vintage as well:
Front yard adornment in Lakewood. I don’t know the story — but it appears to be carved from the former tree. Apparently, meant to be Venus de Milo — but kind of an alien-like face:
Yes, in Norwalk:
Some bad news — the Dal Rae replaced their neon with backlit plastic earlier this year. They also rebuilt the parking sign with all plastic in-the-style-of the original (ugh). Here’s one of my photos from 2012:
Over to San Bernardino (it was a busy day!!). What can I say – I’ve used the word “wonderful” too many times in this post already:
I finally shot this place that I’ve been passing — my namesake, after all:
I timed the end of the day to shoot the neon signs at Universal Studios CityWalk at dusk. I’ve shot them during the day before and was able to negotiate with the parking attendant for a 20 minute freebie at curbside. But the attendant there last night gave me no mercy and it cost me $10. But I can finally check it off my list. The vintage signs will all be uploaded to my website. I also posted a few to Flickr just now. But to close out this blog, I’ll give you one of the many modern signs (or at least I think it is!). Is this racist or sexist or just fun? Too bad the “SA” was out but the animation is fun. I took a quickie video for you (turn your head sideways – sorry! – and turn your volume off!):
More photos from this trip over at Flickr:
The dogs and I will be back on the road in a couple of weeks. Back up to the Stockton area.