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:
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:
Lots more goodies from Oakland:
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:
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”:
A small version of SoCal’s giant “alignment bear” signs — see about 1/3 the way down my page here:
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:
Alas, all those letters were removed in 2011 when Bay City Chevrolet moved in. Here’s what the building (now vacant) looks like now:
A detail from one of the many nice Art Deco buildings in Oakland:
Quadruple neon tubing — I don’t think I’ve ever seen that! At Art’s Crab Shak:
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:
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:
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:
Steele’s Discount Scuba has been here since 1958:
This bulbous beauty is installed above Williams Liquor:
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:
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:
A couple more shots from Berkeley. You know you’re old when you remember Carte Blanche credit cards:
The typewriter on this one is a separate hovering panel:
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:
Happy 2015 to all of you!
dj & the dogs