Explore The Neon City

Architect Kirsten Hively is heavily fascinated by New York City’s numerous neon signs. Two weeks into a new job on the Upper East Side, she started to document the “excellent” neon signs she came across on the streets around the office. Project Neon became the go-to source for interesting neon signs, styles and the stories behind them. Nine months later, Hively has proudly presented the Project Neon iPhone app: a rich, location-based photo collection of the best neon signs in the Big Apple. Crowd-funded through Kickstarter, and free to download for everyone.

Hively explains why she set out to document the ‘glow’:

“I set out to document the neon of New York — working signs only and, for the most part, avoiding chain-store signs that can be found all over the city. I have been told that New York’s neon is unexceptional in comparison to Chicago’s or Portland’s. I wanted to prove otherwise. I also wanted to demonstrate (mostly to myself) that the quirky, independent New York is still here — it’s not all chain stores, standard-issue vinyl awnings and luxury condos. I too often hear about all the great things that are gone, going or about to go. I needed, in the dark depths of winter, to find good stuff that’s still here.”

The Neon Project iPhone app serves as an extension to the blog. Bringing the sultry, nightly show of neon from New York’s streets to the iPhone, the app allows users to learn which signs are closest to their current location, get information and gorgeous photos for each sign. The project is a true eye-opener and breaths Hively’s passion for neon, making you explore the Neon City yourself. If I would have written the ‘Top 5 Apps For Exploring The City’ article right now, I would have definitely included Project Neon. Check it out!