Category: Neon

California or bustDunsmuir, CA

California Theatre sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

As it turned out, I didn’t get to do a whole lot of traveling last year—which was a bit of an adjustment, especially compared with previous years. It’s looking like 2015, though, is going to be another big travel year—which to me feels more like normal life. Tomorrow morning I’m hitting the road again …… More

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Bathing beautySeattle, WA

Neon diving girl sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Olympic Athletic Club diving girl isn’t vintage, but she sure looks like a throwback to me. Every time I find myself in Ballard—or even that general end of the city—I make sure my route takes me past her. I can definitely see her being a Seattle icon fifty years from now—our own Little Mermaid.

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Kitschy kitchenettesColorado Springs, CO

Skylark motel signs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Just like the neighboring town of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs is filled with midcentury neon signs and fabulous Googie lettering. This sign is one of my very favorites. It’s been altered a bit over the years, but the fact that a relic like this still exists in a town that’s changing and expanding at a… More

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Ideal, for realBoulder, CO

Vintage strip mall sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m guessing you won’t be shocked when I tell you I’m not exactly the type of person who likes shopping malls. But a vintage midcentury shopping mall with fantastic neon signage…well, now that’s downright ideal.

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Corn-fedMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here’s what you do: you go to the Minnesota State Fair with at least four or five people in your party. Then everybody chooses one or two things to eat and shares with the group—that way, you get a small sample of a lot of different things. (Added bonus of sharing small bites: not suffering… More

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Holy cannoliModern Pastry, Boston, MA

Modern Pastry sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you want the best cannoli it’s possible to get outside of Italy, you really can’t go wrong in Boston’s North End—there are plenty of places that will deliver the goods (special shout-out to Maria’s!). Probably the most famous are Modern Pastry and it’s rival, Mike’s. I’ve visited both many times over the years, and… More

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Pink pachydermSeattle, WA

Elephant Carwash sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If the Yoken’s whale is the queen of the east coast’s Route 1, then the Elephant Carwash sign surely must rule Highway 99 in the west. The restaurant inside the Space Needle can eat its heart out—this jumbo gal is my favorite spinning landmark in the Emerald City.

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Spurred to sketchSouth of Moab, UT

Silver Spur sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I really have no idea why this sign isn’t where it’s supposed to be (in Durango, CO), and why we stumbled upon it at Hole n’ the Rock instead. But since Durango wasn’t on the list for that trip, and I never would have made this sketch otherwise, you won’t find me complaining!

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