And so it begins… a two-week trip to Oregon and Washington

My summer trip is underway.   I made a vow to myself to get more sleep and save the blogging for home.  However, yesterday, it was a full day of dense clouds in Portland so I was in a holding pattern.  Then, the check engine light came on.  Apparently, Sparkle needs a new catalytic converter.  Getting a new one is tricky since California emissions has stricter policies about these parts than other states.  But a California approved part should be arriving first thing this morning.  I might as well use my time to bang out a post or two since, gratefully, this little muffler shop has wifi.  The forecast is for sun today so I should be back at it for another full day of shooting today.

The trip commenced with a 7 hour jaunt after work up to Northern California.  Here is a sampling of some of the “lesser” subjects.  A sampling of the good stuff goes to Flickr while I’m traveling each night.  The bulk of my photos wait until I get home and can gradually add it all to my website.

Let’s start with this repurposed Safeway in Red Bluff — now the local library:

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And another recycled building in Redding — a Fotomat now housing the Greek Shack.  The liquor store sign is for the building behind it:

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This roofop sign is in Redding:

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More signs from Redding.  This one is at the Country Bowl.  I love the little floating objects in the holes:

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From the neon tubing holes scattered over this panel, it appears that this sign probably advertised for another business previously.  I like the slanted text and painted shadows around the characters:

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This massive sign has angled panels:

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These two signs are in Dunsmuir.  It was known as the Whistle Stop Cafe when I was here in 2008.  Now, it’s Yaks on the 5:

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The Piemont Restaurant in Mount Shasta is closed but the sign remains.  Note the neat arrow on the top left which points at the restaurant itself:

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The Townhouse Motel is in Weed.  Apparently, the sign was painted red originally.  This vintage photo from the 1950s confirms it:
http://www.lileks.com/motels/CA/8.html

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Here are a handful of photos from Yreka.  This “happy bear” sign is at Weldon’s Tire Service.   This is a much smaller and rarer example of these signs.  For examples and info about them, see about halfway down my page here:
http://www.roadarch.com/signs/ca14.html

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This funky sign is older than you might think.  Although it has been repainted probably dozens of times, the panels are ripple tin — probably pre-1950s.  The tubing holes do match the text for “Log Cabin”.  But that barrel may have been at the top or bottom of the sign — or come from another sign.  This overlapping of panels seems very odd:

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Still in Yreka — this old-fashioned store is still open:

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Nice painted wood-grain:

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A very unusual stained glass Masonic sign:

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The “D” and “G” must have been broken and replaced at some point:

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Moving on to Oregon — this one is in Ashland.  Just a few years go, this sign was green and had neon:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pixability/540017333/

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Another one from Ashland:

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Also in Ashland:

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This one is in Medford.  The name comes from the nearby Siskiyou Mountains:

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Another one in Medford:

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From Jacksonville.  I can’t find any vintage photos that show what was in that middle section:

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Back to Medford.  Very abused sign panel — BB gun damage or what?

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Moving on to Grants Pass:

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I think this is a modern sign.  There was a different sign at this former Richfield gas station in Grants Pass just a few years ago:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/forest_lookouts_of_oregon/5819823963/

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Last one for this post — this one is in Roseburg.  It used to revolve but now just blows in the wind a bit:

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9am and we’re still waiting for that part here at the shop.  I’ll start prep-ing some photos for Day 2 & maybe I can get another post out today.  For now, you might want to see the stuff I’ve posted at Flickr for the past few days:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/
dj & the dogs
eager to get going, Portland

Grillin’ in the Central Valley for the Fourth

While many of you were grillin’ at backyard picnics this weekend, the dogs and I were grilling ourselves in the Sacramento area.  It was 90s on Friday and 100s on Saturday.  I had had enough by Sunday, had miraculously finished my list, and scurried home to the beach just as fast as I could.  Today is delightfully foggy.  I’ve got lots of photos for you so I’ll split this into two posts — one for each day.

Let’s start with this one in Tulare.  It looks like there was a word there before “The” — maybe someone’s name?blog1

From Visalia — these plastic mortar & pestle signs were mass-produced but are very rare now:blog2

A couple of signs from Fong’s in Fresno — a nice old 1930s/1940s blade sign and a cocktail sign.  I don’t know what the vertical text was on this.  Probably “Restaurant”:

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These plastic clock signs are getting scarcer these days.  I can’t think of any others in California.  This one is installed above a closed Kung Food studio in Fresno.  There’s also a green version:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/10707024@N04/2699049299/

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One of the day’s big heartbreaks.  I wanted to reshoot this U Save Liquor sign in Fresno since I inadvertently chopped off the neon arrow under it when I shot it last year: belmontu

Well, I guess when they finally got around to repainting it, they decided to replace all the neon with backlit plastic letters.  Uff!  What a shame!  blog6

Adrian’s is a cute little walk-up take-out stand.  It probably went by another name originally.  But the stand is looking a little beat now and the cute pole sign is covered with ugliness.  At least this nice little porcelain enamel sign remains on the roof:

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Just next door is this sweet sign for Ann’s Beer Mug which I think is closed.  The bulb bubbles must have flashed originally:blog8

I can’t find any history for the El Prado Nightclub in Fresno.  It’s a huge building and has a 1940s look.  I love the little guitars and tacked on blue cocktail: blog9

The Sequoia Super Market is in Ceres.  The “La” was added in later years:
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I’m all for recycled buildings — but this one disappoints me.  A lot.  The wavy roofed Dairy Queen in Davis closed in 2013.  Lots of examples of these buildings at my page here:

http://www.roadarch.com/eateries/dq7.html

In 2014, the Davis building was stripped to its frame in preparation for the remodel.  The box at the back was the kitchen & order window set-up.  Everything in front of it would have been dining area with tables originally:mddqAnd now… the finished product as an architects’ office.  For architects, I expected more:  blog11At least they kept the wooden beams inside (shot through the window, best I could do): blog12

Some much better news.  The Mercury Cleaners in Sacramento moved across the street and had their sign restored and installed at the new location just a couple of weeks ago:
http://sacmod.org/historic-mercury-cleaners-neon-sign-re-installed/

Here’s a photo I took of the sign in 2008:

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And here’s what the sign looks like now (crappy light, I got a better shot on Sunday which I posted to Flickr).  I don’t know why it was painted blue but I’m assuming that was the original color.  I’ll make calls when I upload to my website.  I’ve also never understood what the winged red disk represents.  I suspect that might have been a Mercury dime originally?  I’m glad they kept that little “Drapery” sign underneath:

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OK – that’s enough for this post.  I’ll cook up Day 2 next.

dj

L.A. & O.C. Getaway

I took a little weekend jaunt to the L.A. and Orange County areas to shoot some stuff that’s been on my list for a while.  Lots of remodeling, repainting, etc. and some things that I only found out about recently.

Callahan’s Restaurant in Santa Monica opened in 1946 and closed last year.  Here’s my photo from 2013 (note Callahan’s was on the white side of the building on the left):

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Thankfully, things have not changed all that much.  Ingo’s Tasty Diner opened in the space last month and the interior still has a similar & only slightly fancier look.  There still the counter & booths.  The exterior is now painted entirely white.  I’m relieved that the terrazzo and Vienna Pastry are still there.  The signs have been scaled-down a bit.  Actually, pretty classy.

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I’ve passed this Bill’s Liquor sign in Santa Monica hundreds of times during the day but never stopped for it.  Today, with the sun right on it, I realized it was truly an ancient ripple tin sign.  So, most likely, very late 1920s or 1930s.   Although there are probably a dozen layers of paint on it, you can still see the little vertical grooves [clicking on photos at my posts gives you a larger view]

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I shot this sign at night for a blog post last year:
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This nifty bank building in Reseda looks like it’s been boarded up for years.  I’m hoping that it will eventually find a tasteful tenant or developer that will preserve this graceful gem.   It was built in 1961 as a Metropolitan Savings & Loan.  By 1974, it was an Allstate Savings & Loan.  After that, I don’t know.  The wavy roof & exposed beams remind me a lot of these Dairy Queen building which seem to have been only built in California:
http://www.roadarch.com/eateries/dq7.html

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Another change I was fretting about in North Hollywood that didn’t turn out badly.   The Starlite Room in North Hollywood opened in 1955.  This sign might have been from then — or it might have been added in the 1960s.  This photo was taken in 2013 just before the bar closed:

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Later that year, new owners changed the name to the Starlite Cantina & changed the text a bit on the sign.  I wish the “Cantina” font was more vertical like the original — but, hey, can’t complain too much:

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I stumbled upon this bizarre scene in Silver Lake.  The abandoned Sunset Pacific Motel and surrounding palm trees got a limewash treatment as an art project.  The building is scheduled to be demolished and the limewash is supposed to wash off when it rains.  But, since it only rains about once a year for 10 minutes in Southern California, I don’t know when those palms will look normal again.  The lime is supposed to be safe for the palms but many people are worried about the birds.  More about this project here:
http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2015/03/artist-to-white-wash-silver-lakes-bates-motel/

and here:
http://laist.com/2015/04/18/photos_whitewashed_motel.php

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This was another little surprise in Los Angeles:  this wonderful streamline apartment complex.  Poking around on-line today, it looks like it was designed by Milton Black and built in 1936.  A two-bedroom goes for about $2700:

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This Schwinn sign in Los Angeles is looking very sad these days.  Here’s my photo from 2008:

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And now:

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Since the store was open, I stopped in to get the scoop.  Safety Cycle is actually in the building next door now so they no longer own the sign.  The fate of this sign will be up to the developer.  That space is empty now but work is going on.  Of course, Safety Cycle would like the sign to stay since it’s advertising for their store.  But if it gets much worse, maybe they won’t want to be associated with it.  The City might even want to see it gone at this point with all the tagging and rust.  I’ll nudge MONA (the Museum of Neon Art) in hopes that the museum might want to get moved to the top of the list in case the owner decides to remove the sign.  This sign was never animated and, as far as I know, was not mass-produced by Schwinn.

This cigar sign is in a back alley at The Grove shopping center.  The panels appear to be old but the neon looks fresh.  I know nothing about its history:

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This Norge Ball, beat-up as it is, was also a pleasant surprise to me.  The laundry is long gone and Benny’s Market looks like it’s been there for decades.  Too much time and trouble to remove it from the pole on the roof I suppose.  There are two other Norge Balls in Los Angeles — one as crunched as this one, and one in great shape.  There are only about 60 of them left around the country:

http://www.roadarch.com/signs/norge.html

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Some good and bad news about the Royal Viking Motel in Los Angeles which closed last year.  It promptly reopened as the Pod Inn and adapted the signs.  This nice neon sign was stripped of the neon channel letters.  The panels were painted a peachy orange and backlit plastic Pod Inn letters were installed on the faces.  Here’s the sign in 2012 — I’ll spare you what’s replaced it:

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At least the sign around the corner was left pretty much intact — just the name change.  From 2012:

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and today:

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Just as I pulled off a freeway exit, I heard a “pap, pap, pap” sound that I knew immediately had to be a tire thing from the frequency during acceleration & deceleration.  Sure enough, a rear tire was impaled by a giant bolt but no loss of air yet.  There was a Pep Boys straight ahead — but a two hour wait.  I found another small tire shop “Loco’s Tires” which patched the tire in 5 minutes.  Not even enough time to find out who “Loco” was.  Passing by the Pep Boys again, I spotted this little sign at Tony’s Shoe Repair which shares a corner of the building:

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I’ve seen this one many times from the 710 Freeway and finally got off to shoot it.  Melmac Dinnerware is now highly collectible.  This must have been the factory for all those nifty melamine (plastic) plates & cups:
http://www.amazon.com/Melmac-Dinnerware-Gregory-R-Zimmer/dp/0895380854

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Spring makes me miss all the magnolias, dogwood, forsythia, tulips, etc. back East.  But we DO have purple jacaranda trees here!

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And we also have some not so natural trees.  This faux pine cell tower was in East LA. which made it even more humorous:

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Two more signs for this post.  These two are just a couple blocks apart:  This one at Ed’s Welding:

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I think Chase Equipment is gone now.  The place seemed to be selling used car parts:

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That’s it for now.  I’ll try to get you a post with some of Sunday’s photos later today.

dj

More from this Desert-ish Weekend Trip

I was shocked after such a sunny Saturday to have a hazy, useless grey Sunday morning in Brawley.  I waited and studied the skies a bit — but it didn’t look like it would get better anytime soon.  So, I shot what was there (which wasn’t much) and moved on.  Here’s the White Cross Drugs store which is still in business.  The two sign panels must have been a single projecting sign originally:

 

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Still in Brawley.  No businesses or buildings anywhere near this sign.  I love the bits of neon which still cling to the sign:

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Moving on to Indio.  I think this place is still in business:

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Done with the desert & onwards towards L.A.  This place is in Corona:

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The building itself is pretty quirky.  Was that shingled canopy a later addition?  Was the building

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The traffic in L.A. was insane and I cut the day a little short.  Mostly, to deal with a computer glitch that happened that morning.  After a schlepp to and wait at Best Buy, it turned out to be nothing.  Or at least I hope so.  The laptop wouldn’t power up for me after trying about five times.  Something about maybe not holding down the button long enough.  Huh?  I’ve never had to hold down the button — just pushed it since I’ve had this thing for six months.  So, now I’m holding my breath and holding the button down and all seems fine.  Whatever.

I’ll leave you with this gigantic sign from Los Angeles which has it all:  mixed fonts, plastic, neon, bulbs — and just the grooviest arrow.  I also love that inexplicable, random blue piece below the arrow and the rocks at the bottom:

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For more photos from this weekend’s trip, don’t forget the stuff over at Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

I’ve penned in another L.A. trip a couple of weeks from now to get more serious with this list.  That desert heat and boring stretches between stuff really wiped me out.  So, I’ll be back with more photos before you know it.  Thanks for tuning in!

dj & the dogs

Desert-ish Weekend Roadtrip

I wanted to make sure I’d have good weather for this little desert trip — but I think I waited a little long.  Although it just turned spring, I think it was over 100 today.  I’m happy to report that Sparkle’s A/C is working very well these days.

I braved the Friday night traffic and hoped with the time change that I could get more shooting in.  But I only got to a few things before that awful “golden hour” set in.  At least I got to see the completed restoration of the Idle Hour in North Hollywood.  Miracles do happen!  After sitting vacant since 1984, the giant barrels are finally back in action.

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Here’s a photo I took back in 2008:

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And a framed vintage photo from 1941 inside the bar:

 

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The lighting was kinda sucky — but here’s the “rescue dog” in the back patio of the Idle Hour.   This doggie was built in 1994 for the Petersen Automotive Museum.  The museum decided this guy didn’t fit in with all the revamping going on.  Kinda like deciding your dog doesn’t match the new furniture, isn’t it?  Well, at least he’s got a good home now.  This dog is a recreation of the Bulldog Cafe which was built in L.A. around 1928:

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Up and at’em early this morning in Burbank since there was mucho driving to do.  At dawn, a great illegal retrieving session with the dogs at some golf course like recreation center since I knew it would be too hot later on for any romping.  Too early for good photos but here are a few anyway.  Samuel’s Florist in Burbank:

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And Compton’s Shoe Repairing in Burbank:

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I stopped for a quick peek in Glendale at the new sign installed at the future home of MONA (Museum of Neon Art).  A kindly electrician let me in to see the progress of the place.  In an article I read just this week, the museum was due to open “later this year.”  However, this guy said they should be done with construction in a two or three weeks.  This sign is a replica of the one that was installed in Westwood.  It was too far gone to restore.  The neon drips will be sequentially lit like the original.  That’s the replica diver sign poised on the corner of the museum building in the background:

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I’ve been to Pasadena countless times but never noticed this guy until today.  The rooftop sign:

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and the cool storefront below:

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These Farmers Insurance signs are getting very rare.  I think there are only two or three left in the country.   This one is in Redlands:

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This incredible sign is in Yucca Valley.  I don’t know what it advertised for originally.  Note the pigeon posing right below the buffalo for scale:

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This sign is also from Yucca Valley:

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On to Twentynine Palms where there is a sign junkyard in somebody’s backyard.  No hole in the fence — believe me, I looked!

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This abandoned gas station & cafe are in Desert Center.   The cynic in me had me thinking that this was used for some recent film or commercial.  Those pumps seem awfully nostalgic:

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And this sign with the 3-D effect just had to be modern:

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But then, I see this 1940s vintage photo at eBay now & I wonder how vintage this place is — maybe the sign was revamped recently?
http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/NMkAAOSwBahVFAsg/s-l1600.jpg

 

On to Blythe.  At first glance, I figured this had to be a former Denny’s.  But, no, the waitress assured me that the Courtesy was built in 1964.  And the building is actually different.  The boomerang roof is actually pretty short and with a different look from the front, it was probably different enough to prevent a lawsuit:

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The interior is gloriously intact.  However, the waitress said that the owner will be remodeling it later this year.  Uh oh!  If you’re into vintage coffee shop decor, you might want to hop on the I-10 the first chance you get:

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More stuff from Blythe for the remainder of this post:

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I’ve never seen such a marvelous arrow tail loop before.  A pity what’s become of the rest of the sign:

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I’ll leave you for the night with one more lovely relic:

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More shooting tomorrow here in the desert and then on to some L.A. stuff before the long drive home.  I’ll get back to you on Monday or Tuesday with that final post.

In the meantime, more photos from today over at Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

 

—  Night-night from dj & the dogs in Brawley

Xmas by the Bay (Day 4 of 4)

OK — I’ve got a nice hefty, final post for you.  Although the days were short on this trip, I had full sun every day.  Just the week before, the Bay Area was drowning in torrential rain.

Let’s start with this plastic wonder from Oakland:

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Unfortunately, no sun was shining on the cute shoe repair sign next door.   So, I’ll skip that photo and give you these two window decals:

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Lots more goodies from Oakland:

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I believe there are more neon martini glasses per square mile in the Bay Area than anywhere else.  A bartender once told me a story that bars could not advertise with the word “bar” (after Prohibition?) and used this glasses as their symbol instead.  I don’t know if there’s any truth to it:

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I’ve asked Tod at the American Sign Museum if there’s a name for these wonderful old signs and he doesn’t know of any.   Hence, I’ve just taken to calling them “applied letter signs”:

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A small version of SoCal’s giant “alignment bear” signs — see about 1/3 the way down my page here:
http://www.roadarch.com/signs/ca14.html

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This building was built in 1947 for the Connell Motor Company, featuring Oldsmobiles.  At that point, there was just the name “Connell” wrapped around the roof lip.  By the time of my photo from 2008, the brands and neon had multiplied quite a bit:

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Alas, all those letters were removed in 2011 when Bay City Chevrolet moved in.  Here’s what the building (now vacant) looks like now:

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A detail from one of the many nice Art Deco buildings in Oakland:

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Quadruple neon tubing — I don’t think I’ve ever seen that!  At Art’s Crab Shak:

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You can still see a few “bullet holes” where the neon was.  This sign was painted blue then.  Sometime after 2009, the sign got this makeover:

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The bad news:  Hooper’s Chocolates closed in 2010.  The good news:  the thrift store that’s in the building now is letting this sign stay:

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I wish I could find a vintage photo of what the sign on the right looked like.  It seems to be related to the bar:

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Steele’s Discount Scuba has been here since 1958:

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This bulbous beauty is installed above Williams Liquor:

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Finally, we’re moving on from Oakland.  This sign is at the Black & White Liquor store in Berkeley.  Obviously, this was Wilton’s Liquor originally with alternating flashing neon text:

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I’m so happy these lights are still there across from UCB (University of California at Berkeley).  That’s Sparkle there behind the pole.  She rolled over to 390,000 miles on this trip:

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A couple more shots from Berkeley.   You know you’re old when you remember Carte Blanche credit cards:

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The typewriter on this one is a separate hovering panel:

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this virtual romp around the Bay.  I still have lots more to shoot up here.  I’ll probably be back in the spring when the days are longer.  In the meantime, I’ve got more than 500 photos from this trip to add to my website.  And then there’s that horrendous map project there that I’ve been plugging away at.  I’ll get you another post soon about some of the discoveries I’ve made, good and bad, while doing that.

Now, don’t forget, there are lots of other glorious photos over at my Flickr account from this trip:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/
Happy 2015 to all of you!

dj & the dogs

 

Xmas by the Bay (Day 3 of 4)

I’ve got a couple more shots from San Francisco and then moving on to the East Bay.   I’ll keep this post short and sweet with just a handful of signs:

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This one was just repainted.  It was crummy looking in 2013.  The neon had been broken since forever.  While new neon would have been nice, this is far better than a plastic box.  The new detail that I like is the olive painted on the glass on the side of the sign:

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From San Leandro:

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The rest of the photos in this post are from Oakland:

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From the Kay Chesterfield upholstery shop:

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A fella working at this place said his father built this artist’s palette sign.  So, it’s always advertised for a body shop:

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Classic and classy:

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The inscription on the building is also “Fruitvale Medical Building” so the text on this sign is probably original.  I don’t know about the paint color though.  All that peachy beige seems a little too dreamy.  I’m guessing it was originally more contrasting — like classic navy and white:

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This wonderful arrow is at Oakland Imported Cars.

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One more post to go!

Xmas by the Bay (Day 2 of 4)

Back home now from this Bay Area trip.  I was just too exhausted to post from the road.  I’m another year older now!  I’m going to try to get the three days of posts up today.  Here are some goodies from Friday — which was all about San Francisco:

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A cigar shop near Fisherman’s Wharf:

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Super tacky — but how could I not include this guy?

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Taking photos in San Francisco (or any big city for that matter) can be tricky if you insist on shooting things in the sun.  The shade from neighboring buildings.  The short days of winter make for a very small window of time with overhead sun.  And the path of the sun never gets north enough at the end of the afternoon to light some things.  I had to come back three times for this guy and still got shade on the corner:

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Really.

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I’m glad I got to see this sign one more time before who-knows-what happens with it.  The store has closed and rumor has it that it will be adapted for the next business:  Glaze, a teriyaki restaurant.  The last mention of the plans for the sign I can find on-line is from September:  “McCormick says they want to honor and incorporate it. They have some plans for it, but nothing is finalized yet: “Let’s just say the sign will be recognizable.”  This was another sign that needed sun from the northwest — which just wasn’t happening on this trip:

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Technically, whatever happens with this sign won’t be the first time it’s been adapted.  The “All Star” panel is obviously a revision.  And up until around 2006, it had a prettier paint job:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jef/211427101/

The sign was built around 1951 and originally advertised for Hunt’s Donuts.  There were at least two locations with two of these signs.  Here’s the other one:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/antiquationadmiration/4103127164/

That sign is now at Jim Rizzo’s Neon Works:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/9735608@N02/6317019062/

During remodeling in 2010, this painted sign was uncovered at that location.  I’m happy to see that it’s still there!

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OK – enough with the history – back to random signs:

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This one really bugs me.  A restaurant is now below the sign.  The solution seems to be to cover the sign with some fake (looks fake to me) ivy & mossy junk so as to not confuse people.  Better than removing the sign.  I guess.  Here’s what it used to look like when Galletti Brothers Shoe Repair was still there:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tadsonbussey/103655574/ 

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When Original Joe’s restaurant moved, they brought along their projecting sign (now displayed in two pieces on the side of the building).  They also salvaged these letters and display them in the dining room:

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This sign sure seems like a candidate for raised opal glass letters.  But with the beveled edges of the cut-out letters, probably not.  Although it appears to be plastic there now, it was probably backlit flat glass originally:

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A break from all the sign candy:

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Not in my notes — I think this is from a church in North Beach:

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They could have just done the business name in neon — but, no, they went all out here with the channel letters:

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There are lots of nice neon signs in Chinatown.  I’ll control myself and include just one:

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For you rust lovers out there, I’ve got a few:

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The text reads “Veteran’s Cab”:

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This sign was purchased at a flea market.  The neon was restored but, thankfully, the patina left alone.   It now hangs above the Blue Plate restaurant:

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Speaking of eating, I sampled slices of quiche and Shaker lemon pie at this wonderful place — both superb:
http://missionpie.com/

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If you want to see more San Francisco signs, you might want to pick up this terrific new book:
http://www.neonbook.xyz/

Moving on to the other posts now…

Xmas by the Bay (Day 1 of 4)

Four days off and the forecast of sun:  that’s all the encouragement I needed.  Plus Xmas is my birthday and I have a tradition of celebrating by being on the road.  Off to sunny but chilly SanFran.  Temps in the 50s and 40s at night.  That’s about 20 degrees colder than it is in SoCal.  But, yes, I remember those long winters in NYC all too well.  Throwing balls for dogs on 18 degree mornings in the rain in Prospect Park.  Not missing that.

I started the trip in Salinas and then had some other stops in the South Bay (San Jose, Sunnyvale, etc.).  I didn’t get to San Francisco until afternoon.  Shooting days are short since the sun gives out around 4pm.  But I got quite a lot — and blasted have blasted through about 90% of the SF list today (I’m a day behind in blog-posting).  So, let’s get to it.  And a quick reminder:  all the photos open to a bigger photo when they’re clicked upon.

A former Sambo’s in Sunnyvale.  Not the prettiest recycling project — but at least they didn’t try to box up the fun roofline:

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A former Orange Julius in Redwood City with a remuddled front.  There would have been a walk-up counter jutting out under that zigzag canopy (now walled up):

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The Brentwood Bowl in South San Francisco with its pretty, scripty neon:

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In context:

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On to San Fran for the duration of this post.  Wonderful plastic sign at the Geneva Steakhouse.  I assume the meat & veggies on the skewer were all hand cut.  What a fun day at the sign shop, no?

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This is the “Goodin” side of the Goodin Realty sign.  The other sign reads “Realty” in yellow and red:

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The sun wasn’t helping me here — but, hey, it’s just my blog.  The photos don’t have to be perfect, right?  I may go back for this guy again tomorrow:

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The 9th Avenue Liquor store:

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This sign is impossible to shoot nicely since it’s on the south side of the street and never gets light.  We love you anyway, Norman!

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I know most of you are here for the signs, but I’ll subject you to a little of SF’s wondrous Art Deco detailing:

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The paint job really adds a lot.  And the sun:

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And, although I’m a day late, Merry Xmas everyone from South San Fran!  That’s Santa & his reindeer on top of the See’s Candies factory building.  And, if you haven’t had See’s Candies, you’re really missing out on one of life’s wonders:

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If I’m not too zonked, I’ll try to get you another post tomorrow night.  And for more photos from today — don’t forget the Flickr stream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

dj & the dogs

L.A. Area Trip / Day 2

Let’s start this weekend wrap-up in La Habra.  As a nearly vegan, you wouldn’t think I’d care so much about broasted chicken.  Well, I care about the statues and signs anyway.  I’ve got a bunch of the top-hatted statues at this page — about six rows down:
http://www.roadarch.com/critters/birdschick2.html

I’m guessing this place is from the 1960s:

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Also in La Habra.  Apparently, this sign is still lit at night — or at least it was in 2011:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/moviefan931/5795929634/

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This sign and hotel in Long Beach were restored earlier this year.  Here’s what the sign looked like last year:

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And now.  I prefer the old brown color myself.  It looks real nice at night though — although it wasn’t lit when I was there about a month ago:
http://longbeachseen.com/?p=3745

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Depressing news from Bellflower.  The Victory Drugs store is now known as Victory Home Medical Supplies.  The sign was transformed in stages.  Here’s what the sign (actually one of two identical signs on the building) looked like in 2012:

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Then earlier this year, the “Drugs” neon was removed and the letters were painted over.  Then, the entire sign disappeared for a bit and returned looking like this:

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Some happier news from Bellflower.  At least some things haven’t changed.  This was the fourth Chris & Pitts Bar-B-Q location built.  The only one I think with the faux log cabin look:

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The Lennox Car Wash in Lennox just got a bright new paint job.  Here’s what the place looked like last year:

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And this weekend:

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For more mid-century modern car washes like this one, I’ve got three pages of ’em here:
http://www.roadarch.com/modarch/carwash.html

 

I deserved a treat towards the end of the day after all that blazing sun.  Ice cream was not handy — but I’d always heard good things about the Apple Pan’s pies.  Priced at just over $6 a slice but well worth it.  The L.A. icon opened in 1947.

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You can watch the pies being baked through a window inside:

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I went with peach which seemed the summer-y thing to do.  It came with a generous amount real whipped cream on top.  I also got a slide of pecan for home which didn’t last the night.  Thumbs up to both.

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One more — a happy surprise in Santa Monica.  This photo is from last year:

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And from Sunday.  I believe the sign is lit but, in the past, it was dark when I was there.  Maybe the neon’s been tweaked along with the new paint.  I’ve seen lots of freestanding arrows and drips on signs — but can’t think of any others with bottles:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25726169@N03/6862411772/

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I’m not sure when the next roadtrip will be.  It’ll most likely be back up to the Bay Area.  Right now, I’m going to hunker down and work on getting this big backlog of photos from Idaho and California up at my website.

If you want more L.A. area photos, I put a couple dozen from this weekend up at Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/agilitynut/

Til the next time —

dj