Filmmaker revisits 1997 film on Vancouver’s fabulous neon sign era

The Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret was a beloved club at 109 East Hastings Street. It closed in 1992. Vancouver band 54-40 rescued the original sign and had it partially restored. (Submitted by Alan Goldman)

From CBC News: When you think of cities filled with neon signs, Las Vegas probably comes to mind. But at one time, Vancouver was known as the “Neon Capital of Canada.”

Alan Goldman produced Glowing in the Dark in 1997. The documentary film originally premiered at the Museum of Vancouver. It took a close look at Vancouver’s fabulous era of neon signs and how they shaped the cityscape.

Neon signs used to cover the city.

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Neon fish sign at Sam’s Chowder House catches on fire

This neon fish sign at Sam’s Chowder House has gone dark for now, but repairs are being considered. Photo courtesy of Sam’s

From The Mercury News: It’s business as usual Tuesday at Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay, but the restaurant’s neon fish is a little under the weather.

A short in the vintage sign sparked a blaze Monday between 10 and 11 p.m., the restaurant owners said, but crews from the Half Moon Bay and El Granada fire departments quickly doused the fire and limited the damage to the exterior.

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Historic Pocatello camera shop sign to shine again

Justin Rademacher and Tim Abramson of Blaze Signs hoist the old Fred’s Photo Service and Supplies sign onto a post on the Old Town Pocatello Pavilion grounds as part of the Relight the Night program in which old historic neon signs are refurbished and rehung. Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal

From Idaho State Journal: POCATELLO — When digital technology revolutionized the camera industry, Fred Cuoio decided he’d stick with what he knew and continued stocking old-fashioned equipment requiring actual film.

Both Cuoio and the small business he operated as sole proprietor for 72 years, Fred’s Photo Service and Supplies, were throwbacks to a former time in the city’s history — he made his transactions using an antique brass-and-iron cash register, and a pair of neon signs welcomed his customers.

Cuoio’s iconic shop closed after he died on Jan. 1, 2011, at age 96, but a local organization has made certain Fred’s Photo Service and Supplies will always have a presence in Old Town Pocatello.

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Fedders Lofts project wins city approval

The former Fedders Automotive complex will be converted into apartments and self-storage under a proposal by developer Eran Epstein. Google Maps

From The Buffalo News: Developer Eran Epstein got the green light  for his proposed $23 million conversion of an old Black Rock factory into the Fedder Lofts, with a combination of apartments and self-storage units taking up the Tonawanda Street building.

The Buffalo Planning Board approved Epstein’s plan to renovate the 132,000-square-foot facility at 57 Tonawanda – which includes two-story, three-story and four-story portions – in an adaptive reuse of a building that was originally constructed in 1915 for Fedder Radiators.

The project will feature 80 to 85 one- and two-bedroom apartments on all floors, with the potential for some studio or three bedroom units as well. Epstein said the project is targeted at “younger urban professionals” in their late 20s and early 30s, with rents of $1,000 for one-bedroom apartments and $1,250 for two-bedroom units.

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Martick’s faces demolition in Baltimore

The exterior of Martick’s in Baltimore, a pre-Civil War building that has been vacant since 2008. Photo by Ed Gunts

From the Washington Blade: One of Baltimore’s early gay gathering spots has been threatened with demolition.

The former Martick’s Restaurant Français, the endangered building, is well known locally as one of the first places where Baltimoreans were introduced to French cuisine.

It housed a speakeasy during the Prohibition era. It has been a magnet for artists and performers, including Billie Holliday, Leonard Bernstein and, more recently, filmmaker John Waters. It’s one of Baltimore’s few remaining buildings that was constructed before the Civil War.

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Former Momofuku Ko Chef Opens Golden Diner In Two Bridges

Sai Mokhtari / Gothamist

From the Gothamist: Though the utilitarian greasy spoon diner can seem like an endangered species in parts of NYC, there continues to be an upswell of more refined diner fare—a trend that dates as far back as, well, Diner. The latest elevated diner experience is helmed by Chef Samuel Yoo (formerly of Momofuku Ko), and opened earlier this week in the Two Bridges area between Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

Tucked under the whirring Manhattan Bridge, Yoo’s outpost features an array of nourishing, bright spins on classic diner fare, such as Matzo ball soup and “two eggs, how you want ’em.” Inside you’ll find dark-green stools surrounding a counter, an old-timey clock hawking chicken dinners, and sunlight streaming through floral lace curtains. It’s the kind of place you can easily—and joyously—hole up in for hours with a bottomless mug of coffee and a bite to eat.

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