Have you seen Birmingham’s Ghost Signs?

An old—yet intact—sign featuring Pepsi Cola in downtown Birmingham. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

From Bham Now: Last November, I met local artist Shawn Fitzwater as he restored of one Homewood’s “Ghost Signs”. Since then, I’ve noticed ghost signs every time I ventured downtown. So, on a lazy Sunday I decided to wander Birmingham in search of as many ghost signs as I could find.

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Ole’s Waffle Shop, a nearly 100-year-old Alameda institution, hasn’t laid anyone off since the start of the pandemic

Ole’s Waffle Shop at night. Ole’s Waffle Shop

From Eater San Francisco: Today in heartbreaking/heartwarming coronavirus-related news: The owners of Ole’s, the classic Alamada diner, have reportedly spent $400,000 of their own money — selling their retirement home in the process — in order to retain all 41 of their employees throughout the pandemic, the Bay Area News Group reports.

The COVID-19 shutdown has been especially tough for small family-run operations like Ole’s — just this past week has seen the shutdown of longtime San Francisco institutions like Art’s Cafe and Louis’, for instance. But despite losing 85 percent of their revenue, and burning through their federal stimulus loan in two months, Ole’s owners Ken and Vickie Moniz — who also run an affiliated restaurant, Wine & Waffles, next door — tell BANG that they couldn’t bear to furlough or lay off any of their employees. Instead, they sold the plot of land in San Rafael they’d planned to retire to next year and dug into their personal savings.

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Hood Century Is the Future of the Preservation Movement

Dwayne LeBlanc

When Jerald “Coop” Cooper, a creative director and talent manager, was growing up in Cincinnati’s College Hill in the 1990s, he was into the things most kids were into: sports, rap, and animal cards from Columbia House. He didn’t give architecture much thought.

“I clearly remember the interiors of buildings, but have no real memory of exteriors at all as a kid,” Cooper says.

But the neighborhood, which is known for its abolitionist community and network of Underground Railroad safe houses, has its moments — if you know where to look.

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This Piece of Roadside Art Is Collapsing, But One Woman Is Fighting to Save It

Preacher Dennis and Margaret outside their legendary grocery. SUZI ALTMAN

From Thirllist: WHEN PHOTOGRAPHER SUZI ALTMAN FIRST VISITED MARGARET’S GROCERY IN 2000, she found Margaret’s husband, Reverend H.D. “Preacher” Dennis, standing outside wearing Mardi Gras beads and seersucker pants. Behind him was the roadside store, a multicolored monolith of hand-scrawled spirituality.

A fixture of the famous Highway 61 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the grocery was blanketed in mosaics of pink, red, white, and yellow. Little shrines were everywhere: double-headed eagles, elaborate masonry, enormous flower bouquets, and signs bearing hand-painted Bible verses and various religious messages of indeterminate denomination.

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RIP Keith Sonnier, master of neon sculpture

From BoingBoing: Keith Sonnier, whose work explored combining functional materials, especially neon lighting, in playful ways, has died at age 78. Among his best-known works is the massive public art piece at LA’s Caltrans headquarters, designed to look like cars zipping through the night

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