Kirsten Hively is on a quest to find New York's best neon signs. Every week she goes to a new glowing Gotham establishment and posts a photo and story on her tumblr that explains why she's "traipsing around this metropolis in the cold & dark to visit pharmacies, shoe repair stores, and bars with good neon signs to buy cough syrup, get [her] shoes repaired or have a drink." She calls it all Project Neon.
She successfully funded a Kickstarter project in May to create an iPhone app that will be a guide to New York's neon signage. Hively's also in the process of setting up a place for fans to buy photo prints and posters.
"I had started a new job on the Upper East Side, a neighborhood I didn't know well, so I needed to find a reason to love the neighborhood. That, and it was looking to be a very long, dark winter," Hively, who grew up in Alaska but moved to New York in 1993, told the Huffington Post. "I noticed a couple of great neon signs nearby and I also noticed that it was about to be the 100th anniversary of neon being used in a commercial display (on December 3, 2010), so I decided to go around the neighborhood one evening after work. When I did a little online reconnaissance to find out what signs were around, I just found listings for historic signs that are gone or photos with no location information, so I decided to document everything."
The result is a focused look at a ubiquitous feature of the city from Crown Heights in Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan and all the way up to City Island in the Bronx.
All photos courtesy of Kirsten Hively, Project Neon.