Hey, there! Log in / Register

Oh, say, does that chicken yet wave?

Scott Wachtler interviews the neon-sign collector who bought the sign and who now mostly keeps it in a Lynn warehouse as he tries to find a place to put it. Last Halloween, he trucked it down to Government Center and cranked it up.

... "There's something pretty cool about a nine-foot-tall neon chicken wearing an apron waving to people to come on in and eat chicken," Waller said explaining the sign's lasting allure. ...

The chicken in its heyday:

chicken.gif
Neighborhoods: 
Topics: 
Free tagging: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

You just dont see random crazy stuff like this anymore, I think thats what is appealing. I doubt that this was all that appealing at the time.

Most places these days tend to have very generic looking signs, even the ones that "break the mold" all do so the same way. Its very similar to the phenomenom you see in high schools where the goth kids all want to be different and not follow the rules of the GAP, so instead they form a group that ends up making its own fashion rules and thy go to Hot Topic instead. The few that are different just seem like they are trying too hard to be different. I think thats the allure of this sign, its crazy, its different, its a little off the wall and its different without being outrageous.

up
Voting closed 0

When they took down the giant neon DD sign at Market and North Beacon...devastated me.

The circumcised piece of crap replacement that they put up is just...so emasculated.

LED neon replacements are awesome, but nobody's willing to spend the upfront cash these days (many kudos to Citgo for keeping Kenmore Square special).

up
Voting closed 0

Number One was when the giant neon Coke sign "disappeared" when the World's Ugliest Hotel went up.

Yeah, yeah, you said "Brighton," and that's Allston, but who can tell 'em apart? :-).

up
Voting closed 0

I wish I had known about it being in Government Center. I would have gone there, dropped to me knees, and bowed, all while munching on a drumstick.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

That's what I want to be after winning the lottery: a neon-sign collector. I'd contract work with artists.

up
Voting closed 0

A friend of mine who grew up in Rozzie always referred to the Fontaine's sign as "the masturbatin' chicken".

up
Voting closed 0

We called it "the flippin' chicken" with the same idea.

up
Voting closed 0

Im concerned he may be choking

up
Voting closed 0

is never having gone to Fontaine's. I passed the sign tons of times, saying "Gotta go there sometime". Never made it.

up
Voting closed 0

Unfortunatly thats why these places go out of business. We always think it would be nice or fun to go here but lets play it safe and go to TGI Fridays, or McDonalds. Thats why Im always amazed when there is a large public outcry over the closing of a local landmark, because it wouldnt be closing if everyone who was screaming about it actually went there Out of Town News in Cambridge is a perfect example, there are numerous examples all over the small highways of the suburbs of Boston as well.

up
Voting closed 0

The food wasn't really all that good in its later years.

Pretty big contrast between them and, say, the Pleasant Cafe.

up
Voting closed 0

Well theres always that too. There used to be a very popular buffet on the North Shore, Augustines, that everyone went to but after the owner died his kids took over and according to people Ive asked they just spiked it into the ground. The food was never terribly good to begin with but it just bombed after the owner died.

Maybe the problem isnt so much that the old local insitutions are dying, its that with current laws and regulations new ones cant open in their place.

up
Voting closed 0

Although it folded pretty quickly, perhaps for the opposite reason - it was too high end for the area (valet parking in West Roxbury?).

Now it's operating under the same name, but with a different owner and more Italian stuff, but no valet parking, so we'll see what happens.

up
Voting closed 0

What current laws and regulations would those be, Shady? MA doesn't enforce the health laws very well if you compare to places like California, so that can't be it ... are there others?

Sprinkler systems? Well, we just saw a prime example of what happens when there are exemptions to well known issues during buildout in the Fenway ... yeah, they cost, as do proper fire walls, but they can save money too.

If anything, I'd tend to blame the ridiculous liquor license bizarreness, and having things like licensing and inspection depend on towns instead of being administered in a more systematic way at the state level (town based being ripe for the preferential protection and treatment of certain businesses over others).

up
Voting closed 0

Im thinking more along the lines of appearence

up
Voting closed 0

I knew a cook there. He said the kitchen staff referred to it as the grease pit. Fried? Fried. FRIED!

up
Voting closed 0

... has some fairly sweet neon of its own.

Pleasant Cafe, at Hidden Boston

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

And one of these days, I'll remember to go down there just before sunset and take a dramatic photo looking up with some clouds in the background.

up
Voting closed 0

I drove by it thousands of times as a kid & never actually ate there. One time my girlfriend and I and her kid brothers decided to go for it, but I think it was a Sunday and only the "window" part was open or something like that... I always regretted it too.

up
Voting closed 0

I live near his building, which is one of the nicest and best maintained in downtown Lynn. He has some of his signs in the windows and lights them on occasion. Of course, he had to battle with the city to be able to do so. There are people who want every sign in DTL to look the same. Those people ought to get their heads examined.

up
Voting closed 0

Does anyone else remember the neon sign at the old American station at the rotary at the intersection of Rte. 1, Washington St. and the VFW Parkway? The building with Kinko's is in that location now.

This was back when it was a regular rotary where all traffic had to go around the outside, not the pass-thru setup with traffic lights that they have now. I remember that the sign was was pretty huge.
Anybody? Nobody? Get off my lawn!

IMAGE(http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/ZrlErD9VB4g/default.jpg)

Here's a hokey ad from 1969 that shows what the sign sort of looked like, only without the neon.

up
Voting closed 0

How far back was that, when there weren't any lights at that rotary? I've been around here a pretty long time but have no memory of that at all.

up
Voting closed 0

This would have been early 1970's, I think.
IMAGE(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2148/2181975445_14a50458af.jpg?v=0)
Here's what the big sign looked like that I remember, only the one in Dedham was moving neon like the Citgo sign in Kenmore Sq.

up
Voting closed 0

Hi Dave,

I grew up in Dedham. I remember the sign. It had to be 25 feet long and 15 feet high. You are also correct about the rotary. It was an old school traffic rotary until '67 or '68 when they cut the road through the middle of it and put lights in. Probably had something to do with the development of the Dedham Mall right behind the Amoco station. The gas station went out of business in the mid to late 70's and the sign came down then. The building hung around for a while then was finally knocked down. It was an empty lot for a long time.

up
Voting closed 0

"Fontaine's Dickens", farther down Route One in Wrentham or Foxboro, as I recall.Food was so-so..

up
Voting closed 0