Day 2: A Whole Lotta Virginia

An early evening rainstorm may be a blessing in disguise.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to bang out two blogs, get some Flickr photos up and get the van organized for the next two days.

So, going back to yesterday first… let’s cut to the chase and move right on to the photos.

This one thrilled me to no end.  I’m still using the word “Wahooptie” every chance I get.  Even though I’m not sure what it means.  Like Wahoo but even more so?  This is the Wahooptie Taxi Company in Charlottesville, VA:

What a ride!

Another one from Charlottesville, or C-ville as the locals apparently call it.   Mel’s Cafe appears to inhabit a former gull-wing style cleaners.  There are lots of these in NC & VA.  They may have all been part of the Martinizing Cleaner chain originally.  Mel’s sign was probably adapted from the former business as well:

Here’s an Austin Cleaners from Highland Springs, VA:

I’ve got some other examples of these buildings from NC & VA at my site here:

This giant Lantern House restaurant sign in Richmond obviously had neon originally.  Maybe even a different name:

The Crickets Corner Jewelry & Loan sign probably also had neon originally.  Also maybe a different name & business entirely.  Still, a nice job of maintaining this cute guy.  In Highland Springs:

I’m tremendously bummed by this Richmond development.  I always pass by this place on Broad St. downtown & look to see how it’s doing.  Not good.  So finally it’s rented out to a legit business (Subway) instead of the scary pawn-shop-y businesses.  But, oh, why, WHY, did they have to destroy the original streamliney, roundy brick glass?  Here’s what it looked like just last summer:

and now:

The building was originally a W.T. Grant store and there’s still the letters, half covered up with a rubber mat, where those folks in the doorway are standing.  Sigh.

Another photo from downtown Richmond.  I hadn’t noticed this place before.  Valentino’s pizza place decked out in Italian flag colors.  But those lamps are so White Tower-y.  And the building gives me pause wondering if there’s a pun going on.  Could there possibly be a Valentine produced prefab structure under there?  Nah.  Maybe?

Those of you not familiar with Valentine diners might want to check out this site.   Various styles at this page:

In addition to their famous Little Chef Diners, Valentine also plainer buildings like the Dinky Diner — see 2nd clump from the bottom at this page:
or this:

Moving on… in Richmond, but way south on Jefferson Davis.  I sure wish I knew what this pylon building was.  Gas station?  Burger joint?  Anybody know?  I love the birdhouse & light features on top:

In Newport News, a sign I hadn’t seen before.  Must’ve been the Mariners’ Motel originally.  And surely, this had way more neon before.  One can just imagine the sailboat lit at night, maybe moving waves…

And lastly, in Hampton just past dusk, I came across this funky canopy structure.  Thanks PhotoShop for allowing me to pump up the light volume here).  I couldn’t get closer obviously because of the chain link.  The business is now “Cap City” — but it must have been maybe a burger place/drive-in or who knows.  Love the elaborate steel cables, glass, roof shape.  Must come back in the sun when the place is open. 

OK – time to get to work on today’s photos & toss some up at Flickr.  Come back here in a few hours for more!

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