NOT being a Murray Hiller, I had never been in the Clover Deli at 2nd Avenue and East 34th Street, but its red and green neon sign had long been in my consciousness. The deli shut down in August 2020, after 72 years in business and 63 at this location, which means that this sign was likely installed in 1957, which happens to be the year I myself was installed. The deli was run by the third generation of the Cuttita family, who decided to call it a day in a year ravaged by the Covid Pandemic. I got this picture in July 2020 and at the height of summer, the two people you see here constituted a crowd, as they were amongst the few people venturing outdoors.
Fear not, neon sign mavens, because Tod Swormstedt’s American Sign Museum in Cincinnati is in the midst of rehabbing it and will be installing it soon. I have wanted to visit Cincy for some time, not only for the ASM but its downtown network of narrow brick alleyways, that I could explore for days. One of these years.
“One of these years” better be soon, I’m 64 already. As Father Coyle chalked on the blackboard one day in high school homeroom, “it’s later than you think.”
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