You see plenty of old-style vertical neon signs hanging around the City. But the things they advertise number only a few. It's either "Bar" and "Liquor" or "Pharmacy."
Here's one I've never seen anywhere else in NYC: "Hobbies." And, on the edge of the sign, "Trains." How great is that? A neon sign telling the world that model trains are inside.
The sign is at 16-02 Fresh Pond Road in Ridgewood, Queens. There's no hobbies store underneath the sign right now. It's a 99 cents shop. If you stroll a block or so to the south, however, you'll find NHS Hobbies at 68-16 Fresh Pond Road. The sign says its been in business since 1947. My guess is the store used to be located in the space under the "Hobbies" sign but was forced to move the its current smaller space some time ago. If you look on Google Maps, a hobbies store is indeed at the 16-02 addrss. Also, it appears the store used to be called Nagengast Hobbies, not NHS. (The name Nagengast, in small letters, still appears on the old sign.) The old space was at least twice as big as the new one.
Wonder why they changed the name from Nagengast to the much-less-appealing NHS? And why didn't they take the great Hobbies sign with them? If anyone has extra information about this business, please write.