Historic Neon Network

New York City

Spent a day touring Manhattan’s East Village with photographers/authors James and Karla Murray in early June. We had a chance to visit some of the classic storefront businesses and meet the people behind the oral histories and photographs featured in the Murray’s fascinating books: New York Store Fronts: the Disappearing Face of New York (Volumes I and II). The Murrays were so generous with their time, expertise, and treated us to the classic tastes of New York. We shared knishes, egg cremes, pickles, pastries, and rye bread. All this and a chance to photograph some truly beautiful neon and hand painted signs of New York storefronts.


Later that day, we met up with author/photographer Tom Rinaldi for an evening tour of the West Village neon signs featured in his comprehensive and excellent book, New York Neon. Tom had an architectural anecdote for every crossroads on his neon sign tour, and he introduced us to several business owners who proudly maintain their historic neon signs. Also on the tour was one of our NY Kickstarter backers, actor/photographer Jay Potter, who captured this moment outside historic Monte's Trattoria on MacDougal Street. If you are in Manhattan, don't miss an opportunity to take a scheduled West Village tour with Tom or an East Village tour with James and Karla.


We stopped off in Austin, Texas to track down Todd Sanders of Roadhouse Relics. We spent the afternoon trading neon stories with Todd, a gifted designer and artist. His unique neon sculptures are inspired in part by his years spent restoring historic neon signs in the Texas Hill Country.  He gave us a tour of his backyard filled with curios and rescued neon signs.