In Somerville, one of the area’s last neon sign makers keeps the lights on

Nick McKnight Neon Artist

To prevent the glass tube from collapsing in the fire, Nick McKnight uses a blow hose attached to the neon sign he is bending at Neon Williams in Somerville. Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

From the Boston Globe: If it’s nighttime in Boston, neon signs are a sure source of beauty and light. Who can imagine the city without its Paramount Theatre marquee? Or the Boston Wharf Company banner, bathing the streetscape with its molten glow?

Though the signs appear steadfast, the artisans at Somerville’s Neon Williams — one of the last neon sign shops in New England — are devoted to preserving these dazzling displays in the Boston area.

“If it’s a neon sign, and it’s around here, it’s probably made by us,” said Dave Waller, who co-owns Neon Williams with his wife, Lynn.

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Getting Some Kicks On Route 66

Gillioz-Theatre Marquee

From Leisure Group Travel: Being a fan of Route 66 lore, I try to visit sections of the old Mother Road every chance I get. I’ve always dreamed about a long road trip that would follow its entire 2,400-mile path from Chicago to Santa Monica, California, but for now I settle for segments in the Midwest.

I recently went to Springfield, Missouri looking for vestiges of the first completely paved national numbered highway and wasn’t disappointed. In fact, I was in Route 66 heaven. (The family room in my house, I should mention, is plastered with artwork and furnishings that recall good old double-6 and the golden age of automobile travel.)

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Krispy Kreme’s return to Ponce would be even sweeter with historic preservation advice

Iconic krispy-kreme-sign-Atlanta

The iconic sign for the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop at 295 Ponce de Leon Ave. The corporation says the sign will be saved in a reconstruction plan following two fires this year. Credit: Kelly Jordan

From Saporta Report: Krispy Kreme’s efforts to bring back the fire-gutted doughnut shop on Ponce is good news that would be even sweeter with more input from local preservation experts.

The shop has been a Midtown institution for over 55 years, attracting customers to its 24-hour drive-thru with an iconic neon sign. Now that local history has a darker chapter — two fires this year, one ruled arson and the other suspicious, that have the doughnut-making on hold.

The North Carolina-based corporation has said it will rebuild and reopen the shop with some original elements preserved, including the iconic sign, but details are lacking.

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Friends of Historic Kingston museum exhibit a sign of things that were

Luigi’s 9 W-Restaurant Neon Sign

The neon sign that hung in front of Luigi’s 9 W-Restaurant in Saugerties, N.Y., is one of the signs featured in the Friends of Historic Kingston museum exhibit. Tania Barricklo-Daily Freeman

From the Daily Freeman: KINGSTON, N.Y. — Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.

And the Friends of Historic Kingston has got them – a photographic collection spanning the 1920s through 1970 – in an exhibition billed “Signs of the Times.”

The exhibit at the Friends museum inside the Fred J. Johnston House in Uptown is on display from now through October 2022.

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For Sale: Johnson City’s Iconic Red Robin Diner on the Market

Red Robin Diner

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

From WNBF: The owners of the Red Robin Diner on Main Street in Johnson City are looking for someone to buy the property.

The diner – which had been a fixture in the village business district for more than six decades – closed early this year.

Jon Bowie operated the business under an arrangement with the property owners for about 13 years. The diner had been struggling over the past year during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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At San Antonio’s old Alligator Garden on Broadway near the Witte Museum, kids could ride gators in 1950s

From Our Community Now: If you were a kid in San Antonio any time from the ’50s to the ’70s, one of the highlights of your school year was probably an annual field trip to the Alligator Garden next to the Witte Museum on Broadway.

In the American tradition of irresistibly cheesy roadside attractions, the garden was just educational enough to justify taking busloads of kids out of school for the better part of the day, yet exciting enough to keep those kids enthralled.

Behind a small building where tickets and souvenirs were sold, there were 10 sunken, open-air cement tanks holding as many as 75 gators at the park’s peak. A distinctly reptilian aroma emanated from the tanks — not a deterrent, though, for the kids eager to sit on the back of one of gators and the parents eager to take a photo of that moment.

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