Sign of Steinway neon sign

Landmarks of light

It started pretty casually, probably when I made a refrigerator magnet from one of my photos of Kenmore Square’s Citgo sign. But something clicked, and I’ve been taking photos of Boston-area vintage commercial signs for the past few years. Now I’m pleased to say that 18 of my images are currently hanging at Athan’s Cafe […]

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Blanchard's neon sign at night

Fighting the good fight

Participating in Allston Open Studios this weekend has made me a little nostalgic.  Sharing my photos of some Allston-Brighton landmarks in their neon glory – Blanchard’s Liquors, Twin Donuts, and the Model Café – has transported me back to my early days in the Allston-Brighton community. I moved to Brighton after college and never left.  […]

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CIRCLE Cinema sign

Circling around

A few months ago I wrote about the Long Live Circle Cinema project devoted to the now-shuttered Circle Cinemas sitting on the Brighton-Brookline border.  You may remember that the project had two goals: (1) assemble an archive of recollections and memorabilia related to the theater and (2) find a new home for the CIRCLE sign.  […]

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Neon sign for Ida's restaurant

Another one bites the dust

I’m about to declare a New England neon emergency. Last week I wrote about two endangered Massachusetts neon signs — the Hilltop Steak House in Saugus and Lord’s department store in Medfield.  Now another restaurant is closing and its neon sign is in danger of going dark forever. Local media outlets have reported that Ida’s, an […]

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Closeup of neon cactus

Don’t forget the cactus

After yesterday’s post about the Hilltop Steak House, I heard from the daughter of the man who designed the restaurant’s iconic neon sign.  Here’s what I learned about him. His name was Charles S. Magliozzi.  Born in Everett, he created his first sign at age 16 and went on to found Mack Advertising Inc.  His […]

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What will happen to the cows?

I spent the holiday weekend making a pilgrimage, of sorts, to a pair of endangered neon signs: Hilltop Steak House in Saugus and Lord’s in Medfield. I have fond memories of stopping at the Hilltop on the way home from weekends in Maine with a once-close friend. The attraction was not the food — I don’t […]

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Photo of neon sign at Reginal Pizza

One bad show

It only takes one bad show. A couple of weeks ago I started a blog post (and, sorry, it’s been a while since I last wrote) that talked about my ups and downs in the art fair biz.  A year ago things were bad enough that I was almost ready to quit.  The summer of […]

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Bottled Liquors sign

Bottled liquors and blinking arrows

It’s a Massachusetts thing. Liquor stores — especially older ones — advertise their wares as “bottled liquors.” The designation seems to be a step up from package stores (or “packies”), another local name. But both terms seem intended to distinguish these establishments from bars, where people actually drink their libations on the spot. Linguistic lesson […]

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Stylized photo of the Circle Cinemas sign

Saving the Circle

So it doesn’t have the art deco glamour of the Coolidge Corner Theater and its latter years as a multiplex were a little forlorn. But the Circle Cinemas, which overlooked Boston’s Cleveland Circle neighborhood since 1940, will soon fall to the wrecking ball, and a little piece of Boston’s entertainment history will be lost. It […]

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Detail from neon sign at Yucca Motel

How to be an art hero

It’s easy to think about art fairs and open studio tours as opportunities for self promotion. Buy my work. Like my work. Compliment me for creating my work. But a recent blog post by New Hampshire artist Luann Udell was a gentle reminder that it’s not always about me.  Writing about an upcoming open studio […]

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