I have confessed my love for neon and need not do so again. I have asserted that neon enjoys a rebuttable presumption of being quirky. And in support of that assertion I now have ocular proof:
Quirky is an invention company in New York that allows inventors to submit their ideas, while also assisting them in the development process. They made a neon sign. And a YouTube video of the making of the sign. From which I screen grabbed this photo.
Telegraph Avenue is a place like no other in Berkeley, or anywhere. There is history and there are ghosts of people and buildings and times and events long gone. And mostly we don’t remember and don’t care. I do.
Telegraph Avenue at night, and by Telegraph Avenue I mean the four blocks south of campus, is as much urban stimulation as we can offer.
A part of that urban stimulation is neon. If nothing else, I have catalogued here the neon signs of Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, February 2015. But – I think it is a little more than that.
Bancroft and Durant adjacent to telegraph add some neon splash. First, Bancroft:
And then Durant. The Asian Ghetto cluster courtyard restaurant mall is the motherlode of neon on or near Telegraph:
A little up Durant is, by me, one of the classic neon signs of Berkeley, a sign for the ages.
The Hotel Durant. True, this is not the original sign.
But, still, it evokes another time, another era, a different America and a different Berkeley. It thrills me.
I had a hunch that my friend would “really dig” these photos. He did. He stopped longest looking at the King Pin Donut sign from the Asian Ghetto on Durant.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, King Pin on Telegraph (where Cream now is) was his joint. Others hung out at Blake’s or Robbie’s or The Med, but my friend was a fixture at King Pin. He was proud that he could make a donut and cup of tea last an afternoon. He had a spot at the counter – his. In the photo below my friend was standing just inside the door looking outwards.
He started ticking off the names of his friends from those days. Almost all are dead, or presumed dead. The times took their toll and time takes its toll.
I offered to drive him to King Pin on Durant for a donut for old time’s sake. He accepted the invitation. That’s what we will do after I publish this.
What did he think of the Telegraph Avenue neon?