The original Nathan’s has been slinging hot dogs down in Coney Island for more than a century, and the area has plenty more bright signs to offer fans of neon.
This sign heralds your entry into a world of comforting deli fare, including what may be the world’s favorite New York–style cheesecake.
Times Square Subway Station
The lights at this Times Square station are unusually luminous and plentiful for a subway entrance. It's all in keeping with its neighborhood, which is the only place in NYC where regulations require a minimum amount of display lighting.
The Lemon Ice King of Corona
This Queens institution is NYC’s best-known supplier of Italian ices. The TV series following another esteemed Queens monarch, The King of Queens, features it in the opening credits.
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry, with terminals in Lower Manhattan and St. George, moves commuters and visitors between Manhattan and Staten Island on a free boat ride with views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
Russ & Daughters
This Lower East Side spot has been open for more than a century. It's one of the world's leading appetizing stores (for the uninitiated: an appetizing store is a place that sells special-occasion Jewish cuisine like bagels, lox, and all other manner of smoked and cured fish).
Wyndham New Yorker Hotel
This historic art deco hotel has been through plenty of changes since opening near Penn Station in 1930, but its neon has been a constant. You probably recognize the sign from countless skyline photographs.
Since 1894, this East Village bakery has sold some of the tastiest cannoli, pignoli, biscotti and other Italian pastries you’ll find anywhere.
Pepsi Cola Sign
This Long Island City sign used to sit atop a Pepsi bottling plant. While that closed at the end of the 20th century and LIC is now more of a place to live and hang out than a manufacturing hub, the giant cola tribute is a reminder of the neighborhood’s industrial past.
The sandwiches at this Lower East Side pastrami titan are stacked nearly as high as the vertical sign on the corner of East Houston and Ludlow.
The famous Apollo sign welcomes you to the historic Harlem theater, which has hosted the likes of the Jackson 5, James Brown, D’Angelo and Lauryn Hill.
The Wonder Wheel, along with the Cyclone roller coaster, is among the iconic rides of Coney Island. It’s been featured in countless movies, music videos and TV shows.
Manhattan’s Little Italy is home to many popular Italian restaurants and the annual Feast of San Gennaro.
C.O. Bigelow Chemist
Want to buy shaving soap where Mark Twain himself may have done the same? This Greenwich Village shop is your spot, marked by a big, bright sign with an arrow pointing right inside.
NYC’s Most Iconic Signs
New York City is inextricably associated with its illuminated signage in the imaginations of people all around the world, with a huge assist from popular song: “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway” (The Drifters); “Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty” (Petula Clark); “Big lights will inspire you” (Jay-Z and Alicia Keys). The signs in this gallery help define some of the five boroughs’ most exciting neighborhoods and point you to places that should be a part of any New York trip. Check them out, then sign off and see them in person.