WHEN I was growing up in Vancouver the city had a remarkable amount of neon signs. These highly colourful signs advertised everything from diners to dry cleaners. Driving through the city at night in the back of my parents’ car was like vising fairyland. It was amazing.
As I got older I noticed the neon slowly being removed and being replaced with ordinary backlit plastic signage. Much more boring.
I was surprised to find, on a visit the Vancouver Museum this summer, that some of the old neon has been saved and here it is, a glorious display in the museum – which is well worth visiting in any case. I tok these pics at the museum, but it’s better to see it for yourself, if you can. http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret was a well known jazz club in the 50’s and I heard rumours that Hendrix jammed there in his youth (he lived in Vancouver for a while) but I have no idea if it’s true. It was a legendary punk club in the late 70s.
The Blue Eagle cafe was on Hastings St. I ate there quite often – stuff like French toast.
The Owl drugstore at 41st, I used to pass it every day going to high school and university.
This auto repair sign is just too good.
The museum display. I spent ages in here, sucking it up. I LOVE neon. Real neon not the crap that “contemporary artists” put out.
AND here’s two more that are still in situ:
You can see more on this great site: http://www.vancouverneon.com/index.htm