Have you ever been to California? You should try it. Sure there are the beaches and the national parks and the movie stars and the big red bridge. There's also the delightful consequence of near-perfect weather all year round. Stuff just doesn't rust. Even when it rains.
This is part of the reason why Americana geeks flock to the Golden State to check out the vestiges of days gone by. Few things are more noticeable or arresting as the giant, well-preserved neon signs that litter SoCal's San Fernando Valley. From cheap motels to family-style dining to well marked liquor stores these beacons of hospitality and booze also serve as monuments to a golden age of American urban design. And with the drive-everywhere lifestyle going out of style as fast as the atmosphere can fill up with greenhouse gases, there's a good chance we may never see this kind of golden age again.
For now, at least we have Instagram and Flickr to serve as our tour guides. We started with @sweetsignbro who's collecting pictures of vintage signs in the Valley on Instagram and topped off the collection with a find from Flickr.
Final image via Seth Anderson.