It’s All About Fresno

Hello there — time for a little weekend getaway.  Today, it was all about Fresno — a treasure trove of neon signs and other stuff.  I left after work on Friday night and got the dogs a good run in at the doggie beach in Santa Barbara.  I managed to get some neon shots en route to Fresno.

[Quick tip or reminder — clicking on the photos gives you a larger view.]

I always wanted to see this one at night in Lompoc.  Unfortunately, the rice bowl sign on top is barely lit:




But more unfortunately, there was not a soul in the place on a Friday night.  The owner said there’s a new Applebee’s nearby and everybody’s going there.   I felt compelled to get something just to throw a few dollars their way.  But I’m the only person I know that hates Chinese food.  So, if you’re in Lompoc or anywhere near — do what I didn’t do & give this place some business.  The restaurant opened in 1936… but for how much longer?  Check out the lovely interior:

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I’ve got a ton of photos ready for this blog — so I’ll keep the chitchat minimal.  It’s after midnight anyway & tomorrow will be another big sprint from sunup to sundown.  Work on Monday…

Today’s shooting began in Lemoore.  The former A&W Teen Burger at the Forty One Cafe has always had funky feet — but now he is really ominously listing to the side:



From Hanford:



From Caruthers:



From Selma:



And now, on to Fresno.  I have no idea how that arrow got crunched like that.  Low flying plane?

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Sorry about the chain-link.  A real head-scratcher.  Why would someone build their house or office in this shape?



A couple from Fowler.  I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that this “Fowler-this-way” sign was restored recently.   That yellow arrow looks new but the blue porcelain enamel has enough dings that I’m convinced it’s old & must have been given a good scrubbing:



A lovely rusty crusty:



And back to Fresno.  Here’s a vintage postcard of the California Motel with this sign:

Now the place seems to be operating as some sort of correctional facility — with razor wire on top of the fence & guys playing basketball:



A couple from the Ayres Motel:

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So much to love here:



I saw two or three of these dancing sign-spinner guys today.  Mynah birds?  It must be unbelievably hot in that costume!



The last time I was in Fresno in 2008, this sign looked like this:



and today:  (ugh)



A pretty one from the Tower District — the store is still open:



Originally, the Leilani restaurant — a tiki place.  The building is still there but I’m sure no Polynesian flavor inside.  This palm tree sign had nice detail:
Later, this sign was painted black:

So, this is actually an improvement:



In 2008, this 1940s building was sadly neglected and vacant.  I have read that it was originally the administration building for the shopping center in which it is located — and that it was a women’s clothing store.  I don’t know in which order or which, if either, uses is true:


Anyway, I am glad to see it is now spruced up — and used as a storage facility office:



Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs in Fresno.  Wonderfully, redundant arrows:



Fun fonts:






This one was in Clovis — but there’s a similar sign in Fresno:


Fresno — still a beauty salon:



And since I usually end these Saturday night posts with some neon — here are a couple of shots from Fresno.  The Tower Theatre (a close-up of the sputnik at night and in motion over at my Flickr stream tonight:



And the Tokyo Garden:




I’ll be shooting lots of stuff tomorrow as I inch my way home.  I’ll try to get you the wrap-up blog post on Monday night or Tuesday.



Don’t forget to check out the “good stuff” from today that’s over at Flickr:

Most of the photos I post here at the blog are of rusty signs & funky buildings not “worthy” of my website — but stuff that deserves attention anyway.  What I post to the Flickr stream is the “fancier” highlights from the day.


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