I was walking down Parsons Avenue this morning, heading toward the Ace Hardware store, when I noticed this sign. It is a memorable one, with a seriously creepy element to it, too. No one wants to look at a disembodied hand, really — but It harkens back to the ’60s, when many signs featured folk art elements that sought to make the business memorable. In those days it wasn’t unusual to see fiberglass cowboys, spinning globes, and neon martini glasses as you drove down Main Street.
Of course, the sign reminded me of Thing from The Addams Family. As I took the picture I half expected Lurch to show up and intone, in that impossibly deep bass voice: “You rang?”
You don’t see many really interesting store signs in downtown American cities anymore. At least, you don’t see signs like the store signs of old. As I child I loved the bright flashing neon, the painted windows, the cigar store Indians, and the giant-sized representations of one of the store’s products — be it a watch, or eyeglasses, or a single shoe. Those were among the things that made the central cities so interesting and exciting. Now, you get signs that are more subdued, as if the shopkeepers are too cool and hip to advertise their wares with signs that scream for attention. It’s not a positive development in my book.
So, when I was walking down Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland last night, I had to stop and admire the signage for Colossal Cupcakes. Bright lighting blazing against the night sky! A glass window frosted with a depiction of a huge cupcake with hot pink icing! And speaking of icing, the icing on the (cup)cake was a huge representation of a cupcake, all lurid pink and blue, hanging above the front entrance!
I’m not a cupcake eater, but I would have marched right into the store to buy a baker’s dozen and compliment the store owner for being proud of her product. Unfortunately, the store was closed for the night, so I can only post on our family blog, encourage our northern Ohio readers to give their bakery business to Colossal Cupcakes, and say: Colossal Cupcakes, I salute you!