Greenwich Village is blessed with an especially dense concentration of vintage neon signs. Signs like these advertised businesses large and small throughout the city beginning in the 1920s and 1930s. They fell out of favor in the 1960s due to rising costs, restrictive zoning ordinances, and the appearance of less costly forms of outdoor advertising. In recent years, they have all but disappeared as old, independent businesses across the city have succumbed to rent hikes and old age. On September 21st at 7:30 pm, join Thomas Rinaldi, author of New York Neon will take us past about a dozen signs dating to the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, marking the locations of some of the neighborhood’s most stalwart restaurants, bars and small businesses. We will see them at dusk, as they start to come to light and when they look their best. Some have been beautifully restored; all are in perpetual danger of disappearing. We will discuss their materials, design, origins and future!
This tour will be lead by Thomas Rinaldi who is the author of New York Neon, published by W.W. Norton in 2012, and co-author of the book Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, published by the University Press of New England in 2006. His photographs have been published in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the New York Observer, Westchester Magazine, CNN Online, and elsewhere, and have been exhibited at the Municipal Art Society of New York and will be shown in a forthcoming exhibition at the New York State Museum in Albany. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and Columbia University, and has worked for the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and the Central Park Conservancy. Rinaldi currently works as an architectural designer in New York City.