I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dark neon.

Neon is synonymous with South Beach, right?

Well, it was.

You know how you have those things that you say, "Hey, I'm going to do that one day?"

I have a lot of those things.

One of those things is that I want to bike around the beach at night, photographing its neon signs. Obviously, it's a more-than-one-day project - and I'd like to branch off the beach and do 167th street as well - we have a lot of good neon in Miami. I really like old neon - there's a lot of that up in the 60s and 70s. I'm really sorry I never photographed the Fu Man Chu sign - that was AMAZING... That was one regret, but I fear that one regret has rolled into a carpet of "Shoot. I should have photographed that when it was lit."

I noticed something tonight as I biked around, photographing neon signs: a lot of our neon is dark.

And a lot of our neon is gone.

I mainly focused south of fifth, and north of fifth on Collins Ave, with a foray or two onto Washington, but it really struck me how many hotels are dark, and of the hotels that aren't dark, how many of them have chosen to forgo charging and lighting their signs.

I could go a block on Collins and only photograph one sign in a block.

Two years ago, that would be unthinkable.

The Clifton is dark. The Empire's "pi" is out. The Sagamore is the "Sagamoe." The "Crest is the "rest" and CVS is just "CV." And Haddon Hall is just "H.......LL"

I guess it's a sign of the times, but I hope they change soon.

I like my beach to be flamingo pink and fire orange and cherry red and lemon yellow and electric blue and laser green.

Dark signs above dim hotels are sad. Dark signs above dark hotels are depressing...

I miss thronging crowds under buzzing lights, packed streets, booming music and disposable income. The Beach has been quiet, dark and dimmer.

Happy days, when will you be here again?