Fading Ad Blog Rotating Header Image

Atlas Obscura & Timberland Present: Ghost Signs and the Later Land of Neon- An exploration of days gone by and the art of neon signmaking.

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Join Atlas Obscura and Timberland in New York City for a two-part adventure through classic New York City signage where we will spend the day discovering the ghost signs of Manhattan and learning the artisanal craft of neon sign-making.

For the first part of our adventure, we’ll set out from Timberland’s Tribeca location for a tour of Tribeca that will trace the fading history of old New York through an exploration of the city’s all-but-invisible ghost signs. Frank Jump, author of Fading Ads of New York City, will share with us his years of knowledge and experience tracking down and photographing these visual time capsules, directing our attention to messages hiding in plain sight.

After an atmospheric luncheon with your fellow explorers, we’ll venture into Gowanus, Brooklyn for an intensive neon sign-making class, taught by David Ablon of Brooklyn Glass. This 5-hour private workshop will bring you up-close and personal with the unique art of neon sign-making, a newer, but also dwindling, classic form of advertising. You’ll learn the art and technique of neon sign-bending and go home with your very own, one-of-a-kind neon project.

Thanks to our friends at Timberland, all transportation, meals, materials and supplies for this experience will be provided for attendees free of charge.

Spaces for this adventure are extremely limited; RSVP required!

This event is 18+

  • September 17, 2016
  • 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM (EDT)
  • 0.00
  • Timberland Store, 474 Broadway, New York, NY, 10013, United States

Boland’s Flour Mills – Dublin, Ireland – Andrea Newmark

© Andrea Newmark

© Andrea Newmark

cropped © Andrea Newmark

cropped © Andrea Newmark

Plans for the €150 million redevelopment of the historic Boland’s Mill site in Dublin’s docklands, including the construction of a 15-storey apartment block, have been approved by Dublin City Council. The Nama-backed development involves the construction of three new office and residential blocks and the restoration of the five original, but now derelict, mill buildings.

However the reference to the “mill” has been removed from the title of the development which will be called “Boland’s Quay”. The development is one of the first schemes undertaken though the fast-track planning system for the docklands. – Irish Times, Olivia Kelly – July 2015

Beshar’s Rugs & Antiques – Robert P. Beshar Obituary – NYTimes – Bronx, NY – J. O’Shaughnessy

© J. O'Shaughnessy

© J. O’Shaughnessy

Robert Peter Beshar, 86, died peacefully at home in Somers, New York on April 16, 2014…In 1993, Bob became President of his family’s rug and antiques business, Beshar’s, in New York City. Bob’s interests were varied and intense. A love of decorative arts — bronzes, china, jewelry, clocks. He liked to say: “the hand shapes the mind.” Reading novels late into the night — convinced there was more truth in fiction than in non-fiction. Telling a great story over dinner and challenging children, grandchildren and startled guests to “sing for their supper.”  – NYTimes Obituary

The Historic Shops & Restaurants of New York By Ellen Williams, Steve Radlauer

The Historic Shops & Restaurants of New York
By Ellen Williams, Steve Radlauer (The Little Bookroom, 2002)

Home of the [Beautiful] Rug Cleaning Lusterlog Revisited – East 138th & Canal Place – Bronx, NY – J. O’Shaughnessy

© J. O’Shaughnessy

Lorraine Motel – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Memphis, TN – Estelle Saltiel-Pardo

© Estelle Saltiel-Pardo

National Civil Rights Museum – Memphis TN

Where Dr. King checked into the Lorraine Motel – © Estelle Saltiel-Pardo

Can a man love God and hate his brother? – National Civil Rights Museum – Memphis, TN

© Estelle Saltiel-Pardo

Scene from a Rockaway Park Fire Escape

© Frank H. Jump

Jacob Riis Park Beach Panorama – Walking Into A Different Dimension From Rockaway Park


I grew up coming to this beach. In 1976, I would bicycle to Riis Beach regularly, chain it to the nursing home fence, wave hello to some of the patients hanging out of the window watching the multitudes of free spirits, take off all of my clothes, spread a blanket and have instant friends. Some of the elderly patients from the nursing home would wander out and walk amongst the living. And we were living. It was a magic summer when tall ships were sailing up the harbor and everyone was tuned into one disco station WBLS. The beach shook from the dancing. It was a slice of heaven. It was before the plague and we were carefree and expressing our freedom freely. Halcyon days.

Coquina Clams on Rockaway Beach (Donax fossor) – Frank H. Jump

These bivalves rarely exceed an inch long and are indicators of a healthy beach. – Beach Chair Scientist

Music by Philip Glass based on Bowie’s V2-Schneider – Heroes

© Frank H. Jump

Welcome To Rockaway [Beach] – Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Happy 80th Birthday Willy Jump – Menorah Nursing & Rehabilitation Center – Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn

© Vincenzo Aiosa