August 3, 2015 |
CINCINNATI - It's hard to imagine a classic American road trip that doesn't pass through dusty, forgotten towns with vintage neon signs advertising motels and roadside diners, still trying to lure motorists. Many of those signs are disappearing, victims of age, weather, and neglect. There's a glimmer of hope, though, for their rescue and preservation. For a guy who has spent his life around signs, Tod Swormstedt sure has a difficult name to fit on one. He's the founder of the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, a celebration of the art of signage, from painted wooden panels to wildly lighted neon extravaganzas.
July 4, 2015 |
He's widely considered by critics as one of the top directors in the world, but Taiwan-based Malaysian Chinese auteur Tsai Ming-liang's works are hardly rarefied creations. And while he's something of a minimalist, his movies do not have the antiseptic, static, arid feel of so many films classed under that banner. Films such as Vive L'Amour (1994), The River (1997), and his most recent entry, the 2013 masterpiece Stray Dogs are lively, urban parables that burrow into the nitty-gritty of life in modern Taipei.
May 28, 2015 |
The Loews hotel chain has tinkered for 15 years to keep the neon PSFS sign aglow on Philadelphia's skyline, but officials said Tuesday they believed the time had come to do away with the old and bring in the new. Arguing that the 83-year-old sign has become too costly and burdensome to maintain, Loews representatives asked the Philadelphia Historical Commission for permission to replace the neon tubes and transformers of the signature red sign...
February 9, 2015 |
The more shined up Philadelphia becomes, the more we've come to appreciate the oddball relics from its grittier days, before the city became a must-see vacation destination. It's as if their presence keeps us connected to the city's true self. The nonfunctioning neon sign attached to the Boot & Saddle bar on South Broad Street is one of my favorites. Nearly two stories high, the sign was created as an outsize calling card for the country-western music club that opened there around 1950 and catered to Navy Yard workers.
January 11, 2014 |
Len Davidson is always up for a little light banter. That is, as long as the light in question isn't LED. "LEDs," he said, "are the enemy. " After all, Davidson has spent 33 years championing LEDs' precursor, neon, as a historian, preservationist, and craftsman. Now, he can count at least one victory in that long battle. It's on display along 12th and Arch Streets, where, he said, "it's like a little neon paradise right now. " What he sees as a growing illuminated corridor begins at 12th and Market, where Hard Rock Cafe's neon-trimmed electric guitar does perpetual pirouettes, and continues north through the neon-happy Reading Terminal Market (Davidson, 66, made or restored about half the signs there, including the huge classic sign marking the entrance)
July 8, 2013 |
When Texas state senator Wendy Davis made national news in late June with an 11-hour filibuster, she sparked a heated debate in the running community - about the sneakers she wore while standing so long to speak. Where they pink or red? The running shoes Davis wore are also my main training shoe: the Mizuno Wave Rider 16, one of the company's most popular. According to Doug Smiley, Mizuno's business unit manager for footwear, the color of the Wendy Davis shoe is "rouge red. " Here's where the argument comes in. To me, that's not red. Red is what you find in the stripe of an American flag, not the inside of a watermelon.
January 6, 2013 |
NEW YORK - On a walking tour of Times Square, something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious happened. With the guide at my side, I was strolling along the streets without causing any casualties. No banging into clumps of tourists or wiping small children off my shoe. It was as if the guide, a Mary Poppins in a Yankees cap, had cast a spell, clearing the Great White Way for our party of two. Each day, 370,000 people parachute into Times Square. The pedestrian speed limit is snail-crawling-in-molasses.
February 9, 2012 |
The Hiway Theater completed its back-to-the-'40s restoration five years ago, but one thing was always missing: Its outdoor sign. The 18-foot, five-letter neon tower, which for decades signaled the single-screen theater's glitz and vitality, disappeared in the 1980s amid a succession of owners and names. Now that war-era beacon - or rather, a down-to-the-bolt reproduction - has returned to its perch atop the Hiway in Jenkintown. At night, it bathes Old York Road in a warm amber glow.
September 11, 2011 |
Ability to score on both sides of the ball and as a kick returner? Check. Ever-present swagger? Check. Do-rag? Check. Yes, Germantown's Will Parks could be the next Deion Sanders, the athletic senior's all-time favorite NFL player. But wasn't Parks sometimes rubbed the wrong way by the Hall of Famer's showboating? "Nah," he said. "If you want to have fun, have fun. It's OK to show your love for the game. " As Sanders was for several NFL clubs, Parks is a do-everything type for the Bears.
September 10, 2011 |
Ability to score on both sides of the ball and as a kick returner? Check. Ever-present swagger? Check. Do-rag? Check. Yes, Germantown's Will Parks could be the next Deion Sanders, the athletic senior's all-time favorite NFL player. But wasn't Parks sometimes rubbed the wrong way with the Hall of Famer's showboating? "Nah," he said. "If you want to have fun, have fun. It's OK to show your love for the game. " As Sanders was for several NFL clubs, Parks is a do-everything type for the Bears.